Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Microbiologic Studies

By
Published:
January 01, 2009

Asteroid and comet impact events are known to cause profound disruption to surface ecosystems. The aseptic collection of samples throughout a 1.76-km-deep set of cores recovered from the deep subsurface of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure has allowed the study of the subsurface biosphere in a region disrupted by an impactor. Microbiological enumerations suggest the presence of three major microbiological zones. The upper zone (127–867 m) is characterized by a logarithmic decline in microbial abundance from the surface through the postimpact section of Miocene to Upper Eocene marine sediments and across the transition into the upper layers of the impact tsunami resurge sediments and sediment megablocks. In the middle zone (867–1397 m) microbial abundances are below detection. This zone is predominantly quartz sand, primarily composed of boulders and blocks, and it may have been mostly sterilized by the thermal pulse delivered during impact. No samples were collected from the large granite block (1096–1371 m). The lowest zone (below 1397 m) of increasing microbial abundance coincides with a region of heavily impact-fractured, hydraulically conductive suevite and fractured schist. These zones correspond to lithologies influenced by impact processes. Our results yield insights into the influence of impacts on the deep subsurface biosphere.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

GSA Special Papers

The ICDP-USGS Deep Drilling Project in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure: Results from the Eyreville Core Holes

Gregory S. Gohn
Gregory S. Gohn
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Christian Koeberl
Christian Koeberl
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Kenneth G. Miller
Kenneth G. Miller
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Search for other works by this author on:
Wolf Uwe Reimold
Wolf Uwe Reimold
Museum für Naturkunde–Leibniz Institute at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of America
Volume
458
ISBN print:
9780813724584
Publication date:
January 01, 2009

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal