Dead Zone - Advanced Collection

Compiled for professionals and advanced learners, this dead zone collection includes resources such as journal articles, academic reviews, and surveys.
Hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The brown water is enriched in nutrients and sediments from the Mississippi River. Algal blooms from the enriched water create the hypoxic zone. Image courtesy of Nancy Rabalais (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium) and can be found on the Southern Regional Water Program web site.
  • Can nutrient loads predict marine water quality?. This American Chemical Society article explores whether phosphorous or nitrogen plays a larger role in creating the algal blooms of the Mississippi River dead zone. It documents results of a study that finds that the algae-nutrient interaction is complex, but that the system is more phosphorous limited upstream and becomes more nitrogen limited farther downstream. (more info)
  • Nitrogen sources and Gulf hypoxia: Potential for environmental credit trading. A zone of hypoxic and anoxic waters has become a dominant feature of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Nitrogen draining into the Gulf from the Mississippi Basin has been identified as the primary source of the problem. Reducing nitrogen loads from point and nonpoint sources in the basin is the primary goal of an action plan developed to address the problem. This scientific paper uses data on point source dischargers and a model of the agriculture sector to examine whether the purchase of nitrogen reduction "credits" from nonpoint sources would reduce the cost of nitrogen control if point sources are required to reduce nitrogen discharges. Results indicate that a substantial degree of credit trading could affect agricultural commodity prices, thereby affecting agricultural production outside the basin. (more info)
  • Potential societal and economic impacts of wastewater nutrient removal and recycling. This scholarly article documents possible effects of nutrient pollution on estuaries and coastal waters. These effects include the impairment of ecosystems (food webs) and major reductions or collapse of fisheries at numerous sites around the world, resulting in major economical and societal impacts. The Chesapeake Bay dead zone is used as a case study for the causes, effects, and remediation plans and policies. The paper features diagrams of the dead zone, tables outlining hypoxia impacts in different dead zones worldwide, and a flowchart of remediation processes at the York River. (more info)
  • The Great Flood of Summer 1993: Mississippi River Discharge Studied. This American Geophysical Union article documents factors contributing to the enlargement of the Mississippi River delta dead zone as a result of the 1993 Mississippi River flood. Unusually high precipitation during the summer of 1993 in the Mississippi River basin resulted in hypoxic conditions of the coastal ocean, with elevated oxygen concentrations more widespread than usual along the Louisiana coastline west of the delta. The article describes the causes of this condition and features figures including satellite imagery from the dead zone. (more info)
  • USGS Information and Activities Related to Nutrients in the Mississippi River Basin and Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico . This site provides a collection of USGS websites that address monitoring and assessment, modeling, and research involving the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. These sites detail the relationship between poor water quality and nutrient influx in the Gulf region. The site also features links to groups currently researching Gulf of Mexico hypoxia. (more info)

Other Dead Zone Collections

General Collection: Resources such as news articles, web sites, and reference pages provide a comprehensive array of information about dead zones- in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide!

For Educators: This dead zone collection includes activities, assignments, and reading materials created specifically for educators.

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Additional Resources

For additional resources about dead zones, search the Microbial Life collection.