Deep Carbon Lab in short

The abundance of life on the Earth's surface is mind blowing. Scientists long know about the existence of a deep biosphere. Yet, estimating the mass and variety of life in the underground ecosystem —to several km depth— is even more difficult. This microscopic life plays a key role in controlling what happens on the surface, both on land and in the oceans, but it still escapes the known rules of life by seeking new ways to sustain itself and to survive.

About the project

DeepSeep is a European Research Council (ERC) project that aims at answering a fundamental scientific question: what sustains life underground?
The main target of the DeepSeep project is the source of natural energy this hidden life needs, deep inside the Earth. This energy is similar to the one we use in our society, such as methane and hydrogen gasses. However, it has a different and totally independent origin and forms tens of kilometers deep.
This deep energy is not directly exploitable by humans, but could represent a fundamental source to feed microscopic life forms that inhabit the subsurface, the so-called deep biosphere.
To investigate this deep process, we use rocks that recorded what is happening in the Earth's interiors. They rise to the surface as a result of Earth's movements such as plate tectonics and provide a window into the deep. Rocks are the key players of DeepSeep and hold information about regions of the Earth where humans can't reach and can't see.

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