Dead zone to expand

By Times Staff and Wire Reports
Los Angeles Times; June 13, 2008

Researchers predict a "dead zone" of oxygen-depleted waters off the Louisiana and Texas coasts could grow this summer to 10,084 square miles, making it the largest such expanse in at least 23 years.

If the preliminary forecast holds, the size of the Gulf of Mexico zone would be 17% to 21% larger than at any time since the mapping began in 1985, according to the researchers from Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

Researchers say the largest dead zone measured was 8,894 square miles in 2002. It was about 7,900 square miles last year.