Dead zone research brisk

Jul 26 2009 1:10AM

 NEW ORLEANS (AP) A watery "dead zone" off Louisiana’s coast has been alive with scientists of late.

A group who just measured the "dead zone" is getting its gear off the research boat Pelican so scientists from Texas A&M can load up for a different look at the phenomenon.

Oceanographer Steven DiMarco and chemists, biologists and geographers want to learn details about processes that create a seabottom area where there is too little oxygen for anything to live.

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium found that this year’s hypoxic (hy-POX-ik) area is less than half the size predicted and one of the smallest ever. That group is scheduled to arrive Sunday in Cocodrie, about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans.

DiMarco’s group will load its gear onto the Pelican on Monday, and leave as soon as that’s done.