Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Research
Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia
The northern Gulf of Mexico is extremely productive, yet is one of several major hypoxic zones worldwide. In hypoxic zones the oxygen levels in the water are too low to support life. The Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Action Plan calls for reducing the size of the hypoxic zone from approximately 15,000 km2 to a size of 5,000 km2.
EPA is developing hydrodynamic and water quality models of the northern Gulf hypoxic zone in collaboration with the Department of the Navy. The goal of the models is to help determine the critical load of nutrients that would reduce the size of the hypoxic zone to meet the Action Plan goals. One of the nutrient inputs is deposition of nitrogen from the atmosphere. The EPA is providing fields of atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to the surface waters of the Gulf for the hypoxia modeling. The first priority is providing monthly deposition data for 12 km grids for 2006 that include lightning NOX for the Gulf water quality model calibration.
Gulf of Mexico Dissolved Oxygen Model (GoMDOM)
Contacts: Robin Dennis