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Subducting carbon

Plank, Terry A.; Manning, Craig

A hidden carbon cycle exists inside Earth. Every year, megatons of carbon disappear into subduction zones, affecting atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen over Earth’s history. Here we discuss the processes that move carbon towards subduction zones and transform it into fluids, magmas, volcanic gases and diamonds. The carbon dioxide emitted from arc volcanoes is largely recycled from subducted microfossils, organic remains and carbonate precipitates. The type of carbon input and the efficiency with which carbon is remobilized in the subduction zone vary greatly around the globe, with every convergent margin providing a natural laboratory for tracing subducting carbon.

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Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Geochemistry
Published Here
September 8, 2020