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This chapter presents an overview of the motivation for the volume, emphasizing why studying deep carbon is relevant to the goal of understanding carbon quantities, movements, forms, and origins. It contains brief highlights of the new instruments, cross-cutting research initiatives, and deep carbon science over the past decade (spurred in large part by the international Deep Carbon Observatory) that have expanded our understanding of carbon on Earth.
Building from the base of knowledge presented in the preceding chapters, this chapter explores how the cycling of carbon in subduction zones and orogenic belts varies with supercontinent cycles and mountain building. It discusses the processes that link short-term and long-term carbon cycling and the timescales of these processes, such as the response times of weathering and atmospheric drawdown at periods of enhanced volcanism. This chapter covers topics of potential fluctuations in the long-term CO2 content of Earth’s atmosphere because of mantle–climate feedback, again taking advantage of the modeling platforms available for further exploration of these topics.
This chapter reviews what is known about the fate of carbon during early differentiation of inner solar system planets. It reviews the nature of carbon fractionation in a magma ocean as compared to the core, mantle, and atmosphere, and how this may have varied between planetary bodies in the solar system. It discusses whether magma ocean processes could have established the present-day budget of carbon in Earth’s bulk silicate, and also reviews possibilities for the early temporal evolution of the mantle carbon budget through core formation, later veneer addition, and magma ocean crystallization processes.
Carbon is one of the most important elements of our planet, and ninety percent of it resides inside Earth's interior. This book summarizes ten years of research by scientists involved in the Deep Carbon Observatory, a global community of 1200 scientists. It is a comprehensive guide to carbon inside Earth, including its quantities, movements, forms, origins, changes over time, and impact on planetary processes. Leading experts from a variety of fields, including geoscience, biology, chemistry, and physics, provide exciting new insights into the interconnected nature of the global carbon cycle, and explain why it matters to the past, present, and future of our planet. With end-of-chapter problems, illustrative infographics, full-color images, and access to online models and datasets, it is a valuable reference for graduate students, researchers, and professional scientists interested in carbon cycling and Earth system science. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
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