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The regulation of oxygen to low concentrations in marine oxygen-minimum zones


"The Bay of Bengal hosts persistent, measurable, but sub-micromolar, concentrations of oxygen in its oxygen-minimum zone (OMZ). Such low-oxygen conditions are not necessarily rare in the global ocean and seem also to characterize the OMZ of the Pescadero Basin in the Gulf of California, as well as the outer edges of otherwise anoxic OMZs, such as can be found, for example, in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. We show here that biological controls on oxygen consumption are required to allow the semistable persistence of low-oxygen conditions in OMZ settings; otherwise, only small changes in physical mixing or rates of primary production would drive the OMZ between anoxic and oxic states with potentially large swings in oxygen concentration. [...]"

Source: Journal of Marine Research 
Authors: Don E. Canfield et al.

Read the full article here.