Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

Redox Zonation

  • Daniele L. Pinti
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1139



Redox zonation is the subdivision of natural environments (geochemical, ecological, or sedimentary) based on the availability of O2 to be consumed to completion by biological  respiration and inorganic chemical reactions. Traditional classification scheme for sedimentary environments in  oxic and  anoxic is based on the amount of measurable dissolved O2 and dissolved sulfide in sediments at the time of authigenic mineral (i.e., minerals grown in situ) precipitation (Berner 1981). Classification schemes for oceanographic and ecological studies propose five principal redox zones (oxic, nitric, sulfatic, carbonic, and nitronic) based on the sequential thermodynamic availability of electron acceptors to oxidize marine planktonic organic matter (organic matter mineralization).


Redox zonations are common in natural systems especially where mixing is limited and oxygen is consumed by biological respiration and...


Anoxic Ecological environments Geochemical environments Oxic Oxygen levels Redox potential Sedimentary environments Suboxic 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Berner RA (1981) A new geochemical classification of sedimentary environments. J Sed Petrol 51:359–365Google Scholar
  2. Canfield DE, Thamdrup B (2009) Towards a consistent classification scheme for geochemical environments, or, why we wish the term “suboxic” would go away. Geobiology 7:385–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Murray JW, Jannasch HW, Honjo S, Anderson RF, Reeburgh WS, Top Z, Friederich GE, Codispoti LA, Izdar E (1989) Unexpected changes in the oxic/anoxic interface in the Black Sea. Nature 338:411–413CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOTOP Research Center for Geochemistry and Geodynamics, Université du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada