2007 Preliminary Forecast of the Hypoxia Zone Size, Northern Gulf of Mexico

By Nina Deluca
June 2007

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The prediction of the size of the hypoxic zone for July, 2007, is that it will cover 22,127 km2 (8543 mi2) of the continental shelf off Louisiana and stretch into Texas. If the area of hypoxia becomes this large, then it will be the largest measured since mapping began in 1985. This forecast is based on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimate of nitrogen load from the Mississippi River watershed to the Gulf of Mexico. This predictions discounts the effect of large storm events, which will temporarily disrupt the physical and biological system attributes promoting the formation of the low oxygen zone in bottom waters.