Hypoxia Mechanism

MAUI to run the Regional Ocean Modeling System [ROMS] to simulate geological, physical, and biological impacts on the timing and location of low-oxygen water column (referred to as “hypoxic areas”) in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and along the Long Bay of the Carolinas. Results from this project help to quantitatively define the dispersal pattern of sediment and organic matter and key oceanographic processes influencing hypoxia development. They also serve as part of the Master’s Theses of Danielle Tarpley (now at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science) and Rangley Mickey (now atCherokee Nation Businesses).

Caption: (Top) Surface salinity (color) and mean current (m/s). Clockwise gyre exists west of the Mississippi delta and the long-term mean transport direction is westward. (Middle) Near-bed wave orbital velocity (m/s) and SWAN-modeled wave height (m). (Bottom) Depth-integrated fluvial suspended sediment (in log10 kg/m2). Isobaths are 10, 20, 50, 100, and 300 m.

Acknowledgements. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant AGS-MRI-0958616 and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) NGOMEX campaign.


  • Xu, K.H., C. K. Harris, R. D. Hetland, and J. M. Kaihatu, 2011: Dispersal of Mississippi and Atchafalaya Sediment on the Texas-Louisiana Shelf: Model Estimates for the Year 1993, Continental Shelf Research, 31, 1558–1575, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2011.05.008
  • M.S. Thesis: Tarpley, Danielle, 2012: Atmospheric and Oceanographic Processes Controlling the Formation of Hypoxic Water in Long Bay of the Carolinas, CCU,157 pages.
  • M. S. Thesis: Mickey, Rangley C, 2013: Sediment Impact on the Formation of Hypoxic Waters in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: A Synthesis of Sediment Texture, Composition, Erodibility, and Transport, CCU, 162 pages.

Key Presentations:

  • American Geophysical Union Ocean Science Meeting 2012, “Sensitivity tests on seabed sediment erodibility of the Texas­Louisiana continental shelf”, R. C. Mickey, K. Xu, C. K. Harris, R. Hetland, and J. M. Kaihatu (Salt Lake City, UT; 22 February 2012)
  • American Geophysical Union Ocean Science Meeting 2012, “Potential atmospheric and oceanographic controls on the formation of hypoxia in the coastal water of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA”, D. Tarpley, K. H. Xu, S. Libes, and D. Sanger (Salt Lake City, UT; 22 February 2012)
  • Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) 2013 Aquatic Sciences Meeting, “A Study of Re­suspended Material Along Sediment­Water Interface On The Texas­ Louisiana Continental Shelf Using Gust Erosion Microcosm System”, R. C. Mickey, K. H. Xu, S. Libes, and M. Trapp (New Orleans, LA; 19 February 2013)