Carbon plays a fundamental role on Earth. It forms the chemical backbone for all essential organic molecules produced by living organisms. Carbon-based fuels supply most of society's energy, and atmospheric carbon dioxide has a huge impact on Earth's climate. From Crust to Core provides a complete history of the emergence and development of the new interdisciplinary field of deep carbon science. It traces four centuries of history during which the inner workings of the dynamic Earth were discovered, and documents extraordinary scientific revolutions that changed our understanding of carbon on Earth forever: carbon's origin in exploding stars; the discovery of the internal heat source driving the Earth's carbon cycle; and the tectonic revolution. Written with an engaging narrative style and covering the scientific endeavours of more than a hundred pioneers of deep geoscience, this is a fascinating book for students and researchers working in Earth system science and deep carbon research.
1. Why Carbon in Earth Matters
2. The Origin of Deep Carbon in Deep Space
3. Deliveries of Cosmic Carbon Continue
4. On the Nature of Earth's Interior
5. Earth's Interior Revealed
6. Thousands, Millions or Billions, the Question of Timing
7. Physics and Chemistry of Deep Earth
8. Confronting the Continental Drift Conundrum
9. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Rift Valley
10. Earth's Deep Dynamics Discovered
11. Reversals of Fortune
12. Deep Carbon's Cycles, Reservoirs and Fluxes
13. Carbon Bearing Phases in the Mantle
14. Diamond in the Mantle
15. Deep Life
Simon Mitton is a Life Fellow at St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge. For more than fifty years he has passionately engaged in bringing discoveries in astronomy and cosmology to the general public. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a former Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a Fellow of the Geological Society. The International Astronomical Union designated asteroid 4027 as Minor Planet Mitton in recognition of his extensive outreach activity and that of Dr Jacqueline Mitton.
"A beautifully accessible history of geology told through the unique lens of how the element carbon cycles between different parts of the Earth. The reader will be drawn into the stories behind some of the key discoveries and developments in the field. A must read for anyone interested in how scientific revolutions are made."
– Cin-Ty Lee, Rice University
"A very interesting narrative that weaves the historical development of ideas and controversies in Geoscience into the theme of the significance of the Deep Earth Carbon cycle. Mitton has researched both the well-known and the less well-known personalities and anecdotes that bring the human element into the quest to discover how the Earth works."
– Andrew Putnis, University of Münster
"Simon Mitton's book From Crust to Core, A Chronicle of Deep Carbon Science takes the reader on a wonderful trip through the time, documenting the challenges and advances made by different generations of scientists to develop an understanding of Earth's processes. This comprehensive work extends until the construction of the revolutionary paradigm known as Earth System science, on which Deep Carbon Science is unfolding today."
– Antonio Costa, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Bologna, Italy