Haunting the Gulf: Dead Zones Linger in Shallow Waters

EarthzineAnalyzing Human and Environmental Health, DEVELOP 2015 Summer VPS, DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session

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Normalized Difference Turbidity Index (NDTI) generated from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) scenes in the Bay of Campeche. Image Credit: Mexico Water Resources Team

Normalized Difference Turbidity Index (NDTI) generated from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) scenes in the Bay of Campeche. Image Credit: Mexico Water Resources Team

Category:åÊAnalyzing Human and Environmental Health

Project Team: Mexico Water Resources

Team Location: NASA Ames Research Center – Mountain View, California

Authors:

Rebecca Chapman

Irma Caraballo ́lvarez

ÌÉse Mitchell

Alannah Johansen

Mackenzie Taggart

Bridget Smith

Mentors/Advisors:

Dr. Juan L. Torres-PÌ©rez (Bay Area Environmental Research Institute)

Dr. Sherry L. Palacios (Bay Area Environmental Research Institute)

Chase Mueller, M.Sc. (Bay Area Environmental Research Institute)

Abstract:

Monitoring and analyzing harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxic events in the southern coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is important for watershed management and mitigation of environmental degradation. This study uncovered trends and dynamic characteristics of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration, sea surface temperature (SST), colored dissolved organic matter index (CDOM), and photosynthetically available radiation (PAR); as evident in eight-day standard mapped image (SMI) products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Aqua platform from 2002-2015 using Clark Labs‰Ûª TerrSet Earth Trends Modeler (ETM). Additionally, sediment and nutrient loading values of the Grijalva-Usumacinta watershed were modeled using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) within ArcGIS. Normalized Difference Turbidity Index (NDTI) and Floating Algae Index (FAI) were generated using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) scenes for 2014-2015. Results will assist local environmental and health authorities in revising water quality standards and mitigating the impacts of future HABs and hypoxic events in the region.

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