Dead zone scientists use models (numerical representations of real ecosystems) to predict and explore the causes of dead zones. Scientists first draw a diagram of the ecosystem parts they want to model and then embed this ecosystem model in each cell of a large grid for the ecosystem. The example below shows the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
Scientists also conduct field experiments to learn about the effects of dead zones on an ecosystem. They collect sediment samples to examine the organisms living inside it and to understand how changes in oxygen affect the release ofand other chemicals from the sediment.
Scientists also conduct laboratory experiments to learn about the effects of hypoxia. We use many different instruments to conduct our research and each instrument has a specific purpose.