Goals of these research activities are to identify, characterize, quantify the inputs and outputs defining the carbon cycle at the global and local scale, at superficial and deeper level, in time and space. This knowledge is fundamental for identifying and quantifying the changes (geological, geochemical, geodynamic, environmental, climate), in the past and future of our planet. By carbon isotope analyses (13C/12C), together with oxygen, nitrogen, boron, strontium, noble gases isotope analyses, and trace elements composition, we characterize the carbon sources and trace the interactions between the various domains of the geosphere (mantle, oceanic or continental crust), and in the geosphere-biosphere-hydrosphere continuum.

The Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources has a number of research activities related to this issue, such as:

  • the study of the natural degassing of CO2 and CH4, associated with short and long-term carbon cycle (volcanic, metamorphic and/or mantle carbon)
  • the study of anthropogenic outgassing of CO2 and CH4,
  • the characterization of the carbon sinks represented by inorganic or bio-induced carbonates,
  • the study of fate of subducted carbon-bearing lithospheric rocks,
  • the characterization of the organic matter in marine and continental ecosystems.

IGG coordinates the European Project H2020 ECOPOTENTIAL, dedicated to the analysis of prediction of ecosystem services and their future evolution, by the study of geosphere-biosphere interactions at multiple space and time scales, the characterization and modeling of carbon and water exchanges between soil-vegetation-atmosphere and between the hydrosphere and the atmosphere, and by the modeling of the interactions between the abiotic (mainly geological and environmental) and biotic components in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Coordination: Chiara Boschi, (chiara.boschi(at)igg.cnr(dot)it)