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Sliding Rocks on Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park: First Observation of Rocks in Motion

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, August 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#17 of 115,876)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Readers on

mendeley
75 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
Title
Sliding Rocks on Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park: First Observation of Rocks in Motion
Published in
PLoS ONE, August 2014
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0105948
Pubmed ID
Authors

Richard D. Norris, James M. Norris, Ralph D. Lorenz, Jib Ray, Brian Jackson

Abstract

The engraved trails of rocks on the nearly flat, dry mud surface of Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, have excited speculation about the movement mechanism since the 1940s. Rock movement has been variously attributed to high winds, liquid water, ice, or ice flotation, but has not been previously observed in action. We recorded the first direct scientific observation of rock movements using GPS-instrumented rocks and photography, in conjunction with a weather station and time-lapse cameras. The largest observed rock movement involved > 60 rocks on December 20, 2013 and some instrumented rocks moved up to 224 m between December 2013 and January 2014 in multiple move events. In contrast with previous hypotheses of powerful winds or thick ice floating rocks off the playa surface, the process of rock movement that we have observed occurs when the thin, 3 to 6 mm, "windowpane" ice sheet covering the playa pool begins to melt in late morning sun and breaks up under light winds of -4-5 m/s. Floating ice panels 10 s of meters in size push multiple rocks at low speeds of 2-5 m/min. along trajectories determined by the direction and velocity of the wind as well as that of the water flowing under the ice.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 1,352 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 75 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 4 5%
Germany 1 1%
United Kingdom 1 1%
Taiwan 1 1%
Luxembourg 1 1%
Norway 1 1%
PR 1 1%
Austria 1 1%
Canada 1 1%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 63 84%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 28%
Researcher 17 23%
Student > Master 10 13%
Other 8 11%
Professor 5 7%
Other 14 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Earth and Planetary Sciences 18 24%
Physics and Astronomy 10 13%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 9 12%
Chemistry 8 11%
Environmental Science 8 11%
Other 22 29%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1468. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 September 2017.
All research outputs
#757
of 8,404,855 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
#17
of 115,876 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#22
of 188,234 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
#3
of 2,476 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,404,855 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 115,876 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 188,234 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2,476 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.