Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 


2011 ‘Dead Zone’ Could Be Biggest Ever

Researchers from Texas A&M University have returned from a trip to examine the scope and size of this year’s “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico and have measured it currently to be about 3,300 square miles, or roughly the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, but some researchers anticipate it becoming much larger.

Oceanography professor Steve DiMarco, one of the country’s leading authorities on the dead zone, says the team of researchers journeyed more than 1,400 miles throughout the Gulf over a five-day period, the first ever focusing on the month of June.

DiMarco says the size of the dead zone off coastal Louisiana has been routinely monitored for about 25 years. Previous research has also shown that nitrogen levels in the Gulf related to human activities have tripled over the past 50 years. During the past five years, the dead zone has averaged about 5,800 square miles and has been predicted to exceed 9,400 square miles this year, which would make it one of the largest ever recorded, according to the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. (

Hypoxia occurs when oxygen levels in seawater drop to dangerously low levels, and severe hypoxia can potentially result in fish kills and harm marine life, thereby creating a “dead zone” of life in that particular area.

Because of record amounts of water flowing from the Mississippi River into the Gulf, there is keen interest in the dead zone areas this year, DiMarco explains, adding that the size of this year’s dead zone could still change because large amounts of water are still flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River.

DiMarco says he will examine the area again on Aug. 8 and will visit many of the same locations for additional data. In all, 10 researchers, including six graduate students, helped to collect data on the latest cruise, which was funded by the NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research and Texas Sea Grant.

“This was the first-ever research cruise conducted to specifically target the size of hypoxia in the month of June,” DiMarco says. “We found three distinct hypoxic areas. One was near the Barataria and Terrebonne region off the Louisiana coast, the second was south of Marsh Island (also Louisiana) and the third was off the Galveston coast. We found no hypoxia in the 10 stations we visited east of the Mississippi delta.”

“The largest areas of hypoxia are still around the Louisiana coast, where you would expect them because of the huge amounts of fresh water still coming down from the Mississippi River,” he adds. “The hypoxic area extends about 50 miles off the coast. The farther you go west toward Texas, there is still hypoxia, but less severe. However, we did see noticeable hypoxia near the Galveston area.”

The Mississippi is the largest river in the United States, draining 40 percent of the land area of the country. It also accounts for almost 90 percent of the freshwater runoff into the Gulf of Mexico.

Participating at sea with DiMarco was Research Scientist Matt Howard. Shore-based participants from the oceanography department were professors Lisa Campbell and Wilf Gardner, as well as Antonietta Quigg from Texas A&M University-Galveston.

Related links:
Texas A&M University, Department of Oceanography, Project website
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium,
NOAA Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Watch,
NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research,
About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents an annual investment of more than $630 million, which ranks third nationally for universities without a medical school, and underwrites approximately 3,500 sponsored projects. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.
Steve DiMarco at (979) 862-4168 or; or Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or

Steve DiMarco | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht 5000 tons of plastic released into the environment every year
12.07.2019 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht Climate impact of clouds made from airplane contrails may triple by 2050
27.06.2019 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Megakaryozyten als „Türsteher“ und Regulatoren der Zellmigration im Knochenmark

In einer neuen Studie zeigen Wissenschaftler der Universität Würzburg und des Universitätsklinikums Würzburg, dass Megakaryozyten als eine Art „Türsteher“ auftreten und so die Eigenschaften von Knochenmarksnischen und die Dynamik der Zellmigration verändern. Die Studie wurde im Juli im Journal „Haematologica“ veröffentlicht.

Die Hämatopoese ist der Prozess der Bildung von Blutzellen, der überwiegend im Knochenmark auftritt. Das Knochenmark produziert alle Arten von Blutkörperchen:...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Beschleunigerphysik: Alternatives Material für supraleitende Hochfrequenzkavitäten getestet

Supraleitende Hochfrequenzkavitäten können Elektronenpakete in modernen Synchrotronquellen und Freien Elektronenlasern mit extrem hoher Energie ausstatten. Zurzeit bestehen sie aus reinem Niob. Eine internationale Kooperation hat nun untersucht, welche Vorteile eine Beschichtung mit Niob-Zinn im Vergleich zu reinem Niob bietet.

Zurzeit ist Niob das Material der Wahl, um supraleitende Hochfrequenzkavitäten zu bauen. So werden sie für Projekte wie bERLinPro und BESSY-VSR eingesetzt,...

Im Focus: Künstliche Intelligenz löst Rätsel der Physik der Kondensierten Materie: Was ist die perfekte Quantentheorie?

Für einige Phänomene der Quanten-Vielteilchenphysik gibt es mehrere Theorien. Doch welche Theorie beschreibt ein quantenphysikalisches Phänomen am besten? Ein Team von Forschern der Technischen Universität München (TUM) und der amerikanischen Harvard University nutzt nun erfolgreich künstliche neuronale Netzwerke für die Bildanalyse von Quantensystemen.

Hund oder Katze? Die Unterscheidung ist ein Paradebeispiel für maschinelles Lernen: Künstliche neuronale Netzwerke können darauf trainiert werden Bilder zu...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>



Industrie & Wirtschaft

Auswandern auf Terra-2?

15.07.2019 | Veranstaltungen

Hallo Herz! Wie kommuniziert welches Organ mit dem Herzen?

12.07.2019 | Veranstaltungen

Schwarze Löcher und unser Navi im Kopf: Wissenschaftsshow im Telekom Dome in Bonn

11.07.2019 | Veranstaltungen

Wissenschaft & Forschung
Weitere VideoLinks im Überblick >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Fraunhofer: What’s next?

16.07.2019 | Messenachrichten

GFOS auf der Zukunft Personal Europe: Workforce Management weitergedacht

16.07.2019 | Messenachrichten

Megakaryozyten als „Türsteher“ und Regulatoren der Zellmigration im Knochenmark

16.07.2019 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Weitere B2B-VideoLinks
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics