Towards a consistent classification scheme for geochemical environments, or, why we wish the term ‘suboxic’ would go away



It is our opinion that the nomenclature used to define geochemical environments is inconsistent and confusing, and in particular the use and meaning of the term ‘suboxic’, which is widely applied in the geochemical and ecological literature. Our purpose here is to review the redox zonation of natural systems and the nomenclature used to designate this. Finally, we will outline what we feel is a straightforward and non-contradictory scheme for classifying metabolic zones and geochemical environments.