How did the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico form?
A dead zone of oxygen-depleted waters forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico in response to nutrient runoff from the Mississippi River watershed. Nutrient-rich runoff containing nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural lands and sewage causes the summer dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico .
Where is the Gulf of Mexico dead zone?
The zone occurs between the inner and mid-continental shelf in the northern Gulf of Mexico, beginning at the Mississippi River delta and extending westward to the upper Texas coast. The Gulf of Mexico dead zone varies in size annually, but may extend from the Louisiana/Alabama coast to the westernmost Texas coast.
What is the Gulf of Mexico dead zone and when does it happen?
This lack of oxygen creates the Dead Zone in bottom waters on the Texas-Louisiana shelf throughout warm summer months. This occurs when there are fewer storms and strong winds to mix the warm, oxygenated surface waters and the cooler, deeper waters.
Which of the following nutrients are responsible for the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico?
The waste from this entire area drains into the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi River. Included in this agricultural waste are phosphorus and nitrogen, the primary nutrient responsible for algal blooms in the Dead Zone . Nitrogen and phosphorus were first used in fertilizers in the United States in the 1930s.
What effects are visible with the Gulf of Mexico dead zone?
The teal blue area along the Louisiana coastline represents a “dead zone” of oxygen-depleted water . Resulting from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Mississippi River, it can potentially hurt fisheries. It has become a rite of summer.
Is the Gulf of Mexico still polluted?
A decade after the BP oil spill: Sick fish, Gulf pollution , and human health problems. The BP oil continues polluting the gulf even today, according to recently released findings by scientists from the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Sciences. It’s still affecting fish and other marine species.
Can you swim in the Gulf of Mexico?
“There are absolutely safe places to swim , which are the front Gulf beaches. That’s where 90 percent of the people are,” DePaola said, referring to the beaches east of Fort Morgan, including Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Pensacola and along the Panhandle of Florida.
How many dead zones are there?
415 dead zones
What is the deepest part of the Gulf of Mexico?
Where is the largest dead zone?
Gulf of Mexico
What organisms live at the bottom of the Gulf?
The Gulf of Mexico is home to thousands of different species including fish, mammals, turtles, plants, and more. Sea plants include seagrasses, marine algae , mangroves, and marsh grass. They provide habitats for countless creatures including fish, shrimp, bivalves, plankton, and other marine animals.
How do dead zones affect humans?
When the algae eventually dies, the oxygen in the water is consumed. Elevated nutrient levels and algal blooms can also cause problems in drinking water in communities nearby and upstream from dead zones . Harmful algal blooms release toxins that contaminate drinking water, causing illnesses for animals and humans .
What are the two most important nutrients causing eutrophication in the Gulf of Mexico?
Hypoxia can be caused by a variety of factors, including excess nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus , and waterbody stratification (layering) due to saline or temperature gradients. These excess nutrients can promote algal overgrowth and lead to eutrophication.
What are the four major events that contribute to the formation of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico?
What Causes the Dead Zone ? Heavy rains and melting snows washed massive amounts of nutrients—particularly nitrogen and phosphorus—from lawns, sewage treatment plants, farm land and other sources along the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico .
What is the main source of phosphorus found in the Gulf of Mexico?
Sources of phosphorus include agriculture, urban runoff, wastewater treatment plants, stream channel erosion, and natural soil deposits. Hypoxia is a term used to describe waters that have very low dissolved oxygen and thus are stressful to habitats and living resources in lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters.