Chemical consequences of anoxic conditions

When plants and algae die their remains gradually sink and are consumed by aerobic bacteria. This results in a reduction of the level of dissolved oxygen. Eventually, often near the bottom of a lake, virtually no oxygen remains and the water is said to be anoxic. Under these conditions anaerobic bacteria flourish. Anaerobic bacteria often produce foul-smelling compounds such as

resulting in the water becoming extremely unpleasant.

Index | Previous | Next