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The Hypoxic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico

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Publication Number: P2583
Updated: December 3, 2015
View as PDF: P2583.pdf

Since at least the 1950s, a zone of low dissolved oxygen has been forming in the northern Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Occurring primarily in the summer, this zone stretches from the Birdfoot Delta in Louisiana westward to the upper Texas coastline (Figure 1). This zone of low oxygen is called the hypoxic zone, or more commonly, the “dead zone.”

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