Dead Zone Discovered in Bay of Bengal

Huge ‘Dead Zone’ has been discovered in the Bay of Bengal. This area measuring 60,000 square kilometres — contains little or no oxygen and supports microbial processes that remove vast amount of nitrogen from the ocean.

Dead zones are well-known off the western coasts of North and South America, off the coast of Namibia and off the west coast of India in the Arabian Sea.

Researchers from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa, demonstrated that some oxygen does exists in the Bay of Bengal waters, but at concentrations much less than standard techniques could detect and some 10,000 times less than that found in the air-saturated surface waters.

The researchers also discovered that the Bay of Bengal hosts microbial communities that can remove nitrogen, as in other well-known dead zones and even some evidence that they do remove nitrogen, but at really slow rates.