Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2010 Dead Zone - One of the Largest Ever

This report from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consotium Dated August 2, 2010 finds that the area of hypoxia, or low oxygen, in the northern Gulf of Mexico west of the Mississippi River delta covered 20,000 square kilometers (7,722 square miles) of the bottom and extended far into Texas waters. The relative size is close to New Jersey. The critical value that defines hypoxia is 2 mg/L, or ppm, because trawlers cannot catch fish or shrimp on the bottom when oxygen falls lower. This summer’s hypoxic zone ("dead zone") is one of the largest measured since the team of researchers from Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Louisiana State University began routine mapping in 1985.

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