Is it agricultural chemicals alone that are responsible for dead zones?



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    No.  In fact, dead zones can be created by completely natural factors.  However, chemical runoff is the number one human-related cause of dead zones.  A dead zone is a marine area which is oxygen depleted.  Dead zones are caused by an increase in macronutrients in certain parts of the ocean (such as phosphorus and nitrogen) which leads to an increase of certain kinds of plankton.  When these plankton become too plentiful, oxygen becomes depleted too quickly, causing these characteristic dead zones.  However, dead zones may be caused naturally by changes in wind or ocean circulation patterns.

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