Microbial life and shock compression - Life or death?

Burchell, Mark J. (2006) Microbial life and shock compression - Life or death? AIP Conference Proceedings, 845 (1). pp. 1439-1444. ISSN 0094-243X. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not available from this repository. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL


The role of shock compression in killing microbial life is discussed. As well as the extreme pressures involved, the duration of the shock is also important (i.e. static vs. dynamic). For shock pressures and durations typical of impacts on planetary surfaces, there is experimental data now available from a variety of sources illustrating that microbial survival rates are small but finite (typically order 10(4) to 10(-7)). Thus any viable biological material on a rock arriving from space at high speed may survive intact after impacting the Earth. Similarly, it is possible to define a zone of lethality around an impact site, and predict survival rates of indigenous microbial life in the target material as a function of shock pressure. Finally, it is noted that post-impact the altered crater environment may be more suitable for sustaining life than the surrounding region was before the impact event.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Editors: Furnish, MD Conference of the American-Physical-Society-Topical-Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter JUL 31-AUG 05, 2005 Baltimore, MD 1&2
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Physical Sciences
Depositing User: Mark Burchell
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2008 07:39
Last Modified: 15 May 2014 08:42
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/5017 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):