How is the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico measured?
- Scientists collect oxygen measurements to determine the size of this year’s dead zone, an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life. This cruise has been performed since 1985, creating an important long term data set for scientists.
What causes dead zone in Gulf of Mexico?
The annually recurring Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone is primarily caused by excess nutrient pollution from human activities, such as urbanization and agriculture, occurring throughout the Mississippi River watershed. Considered one of the world’s largest, the Gulf of Mexico dead zone occurs every summer.
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.
When did the dead zone occur in Gulf of Mexico?
Bottom line: A large dead zone formed in the Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2019. The size of the dead zone was smaller than expected because of Hurricane Barry, but it was estimated to be the 8th largest on record.
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.
Who is responsible for the Gulf of Mexico dead zone?
Foul Waters The primary culprit responsible for the growing size of the dead zone is an increasing supply of nitrogen dumped into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River. Nitrogen levels discharged from the river have nearly tripled since the 1950s, with an annual average since 1980 of 1.6 million metric tons.
Is swimming in the Gulf of Mexico safe?
DePaola, who lives on Mobile Bay, said almost all cases of infection by the bacteria occur in brackish water, rather than the full saltwater of the Gulf of Mexico . “There are absolutely safe places to swim , which are the front Gulf beaches. Vibrio bacteria perish in the salty waters of the open ocean.
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.
How many dead zones are there?
415 dead zones
Where is the largest dead zone?
Gulf of Mexico
Can you swim in dead zones?
The overgrowth of algae consumes oxygen and blocks sunlight from underwater plants. When the algae eventually dies, the oxygen in the water is consumed. The lack of oxygen makes it impossible for aquatic life to survive.
How much of the ocean is a dead zone?
A 2008 study found more than 400 dead zones exist worldwide—anywhere excess nutrients travel downstream and into a body of water. (Read about a large dead zone in the Baltic Sea .) The largest dead zone in the world lies in the Arabian Sea , covering almost the entire 63,700-square mile Gulf of Oman.
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 big is the Gulf of Mexico dead zone?
18,005 square kilometers
Is the Gulf of Mexico clean?
From above, five years after the BP well explosion, the Gulf of Mexico looks clean , green and whole again, teeming with life — a testament to the resilience of nature. But there’s more than surface shimmering blue and emerald to the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
How deep is the water in the Gulf of Mexico?
roughly 5,200 feet