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Impact Disruption and Recovery of the Deep Subsurface Biosphere

Overview of attention for article published in Astrobiology, March 2012
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (63rd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
2 tweeters

Readers on

55 Mendeley
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Impact Disruption and Recovery of the Deep Subsurface Biosphere
Published in
Astrobiology, March 2012
DOI 10.1089/ast.2011.0722
Pubmed ID

Charles S. Cockell, Mary A. Voytek, Aaron L. Gronstal, Kai Finster, Julie D. Kirshtein, Kieren Howard, Joachim Reitner, Gregory S. Gohn, Ward E. Sanford, J. Wright Horton, Jens Kallmeyer, Laura Kelly, David S. Powars


Although a large fraction of the world's biomass resides in the subsurface, there has been no study of the effects of catastrophic disturbance on the deep biosphere and the rate of its subsequent recovery. We carried out an investigation of the microbiology of a 1.76 km drill core obtained from the ∼35 million-year-old Chesapeake Bay impact structure, USA, with robust contamination control. Microbial enumerations displayed a logarithmic downward decline, but the different gradient, when compared to previously studied sites, and the scatter of the data are consistent with a microbiota influenced by the geological disturbances caused by the impact. Microbial abundance is low in buried crater-fill, ocean-resurge, and avalanche deposits despite the presence of redox couples for growth. Coupled with the low hydraulic conductivity, the data suggest the microbial community has not yet recovered from the impact ∼35 million years ago. Microbial enumerations, molecular analysis of microbial enrichment cultures, and geochemical analysis showed recolonization of a deep region of impact-fractured rock that was heated to above the upper temperature limit for life at the time of impact. These results show how, by fracturing subsurface rocks, impacts can extend the depth of the biosphere. This phenomenon would have provided deep refugia for life on the more heavily bombarded early Earth, and it shows that the deeply fractured regions of impact craters are promising targets to study the past and present habitability of Mars.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 55 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Canada 2 4%
Australia 1 2%
France 1 2%
Portugal 1 2%
Belgium 1 2%
United States 1 2%
Unknown 48 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 13 24%
Student > Ph. D. Student 11 20%
Student > Master 6 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 5 9%
Professor 4 7%
Other 10 18%
Unknown 6 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Earth and Planetary Sciences 20 36%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 14 25%
Environmental Science 7 13%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 4%
Chemistry 2 4%
Other 3 5%
Unknown 7 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 11. 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 17 April 2012.
All research outputs
of 10,958,877 outputs
Outputs from Astrobiology
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Outputs of similar age
of 101,747 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Astrobiology
of 11 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 10,958,877 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 735 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 26.1. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 65% 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 101,747 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 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 11 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 63% of its contemporaries.