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A subspace distortion, subspace disturbance, or subspace deformation is a warp in the fabric of space. Subspace distortions could be caused by spacecraft utilizing warp drive, or by other, more exotic phenomenon. A cochrane is the mathematical unit for measuring subspace distortion, named after Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of warp drive on Earth. (DS9: "A Time to Stand"; Star Trek: First Contact) The phase fluctuations in subspace fields are in turn known as cochrane distortions. (TNG: "Ménage à Troi")
In 2154, Commanders Tucker and T'Pol of the Enterprise NX-01 detected a subspace distortion while searching for a stolen Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Although there was no sign of a warp trail, they surmised that Arik Soong, the Human who had stolen the Bird-of-Prey, had developed a way to mask it. (ENT: "The Augments")
Later that year, Travis Mayweather detected a massive subspace distortion, caused by twelve Vulcan cruisers which had been sent by the Vulcan High Command to launch an invasion of Andoria. (ENT: "Kir'Shara")
In 2367, USS Enterprise-D engineer Reginald Barclay, under the influence of a Cytherian probe, was able to alter the fabric of subspace using an emanation of a highly-charged graviton field from the vessel's warp nacelles. A severe bias was created in the subspace continuum as the subspace distortion increased. Taking the Enterprise into the graviton field disturbance, he successfully transported the ship to the center of the galaxy, where the Enterprise made first contact with the Cytherians. After ten days of exchanging information, the Cytherians returned the Enterprise to Federation space. (TNG: "The Nth Degree")
Trionic initiators in warp coils were known to unintentionally produce warp bubbles and other subspace deformations when they were adjusted. Such initiators were used on the USS Hera. (TNG: "Interface")