What is a dead zone?
For the researchers, a dead zone is a place in which most or all of the animal have died, which have become infertile and Barren so there is no hope of regrowth of crops there, and which is empty. This is exactly what Edison reef of Florida has become now, but things were different in the former summer.
“When we dove the Edison reef, on Tuesday, we saw nothing,” this is what Rick Bartleson said, a water quality scientist with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.
Marine life has ended
The marine life is finished and how it is settling down on the bottom of the gulf is making that place a dead zone, as perceived by the researchers.
Florida Gulf Coast Resource Coordinator Bob Wasno said,
“Everything was absolutely dead, crabs’ urchins, clams, the corals on the structure itself,”
Wasno further added that a place, which has no traces of oxygen left to it, is called hypoxic.
Edison reef have become hypoxic
Since October, red tide has taken over the area, but things have only gotten worse this summer, with rotting fish and algae contributing to the ultimate death of the marine life of the Edison reef. Fishes, when they were alive consumed oxygen present in the water. Now the bacteria decomposing the dead fishes are consuming the remaining oxygen in the water. Hence, the area has become hypoxic.
Thus, the food chain of the marine life has come to a halt. Dozens of Dead Sea creature have been recovered and now there is a stack of this creature on the scene.
“There are some pockets of hypoxic (or anoxic) conditions out there,” Wasno said. “The algae dies, and the fish die, and the process of decomposition takes up a lot of oxygen. That is most likely the reason behind these hypoxic zones. They get you coming and going. First comes the red tide and then the hypoxia.”
Mixing of layers is an issue
Things could have been better if the lower layer could mix with the upper layer and oxygenate it, as it would do normally, but because of the Tropical storm Gordon and large masses of water from lake Okeechobee, this is no more possible because fresh and salt water do not tend to mix a lot.
“The surface water is fresher,” Bartleson said. “A lot of freshwater goes out into the Gulf, and that’s increasing the stratification of the water, so there’s not a lot mixing.”
According to researchers, the condition of the Dead Sea will only get worse if the red side Steel for long.