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Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems

We propose to partner with the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Office and the Gulf of Mexico Modeling and Monitoring project at the EPA Office of Research and Development to examine the potential benefits of using NASA satellite remote sensing data products within the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Modeling Framework. The purpose of the EPA Gulf of Mexico Modeling and Monitoring project is to provide the scientific basis to guide a reduction in the frequency, duration, size, and degree of oxygen depletion in the northern Gulf of Mexico as outlined in the recently released Hypoxia Action Plan. The Gulf of Mexico Modeling Framework is a suite of coupled models linking the deposition and transport of sediment and nutrients to subsequent bio-geo chemical processes and the resulting effect on concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the coastal of waters of Louisiana and Texas. The hypoxic zone in this area of the Gulf of Mexico has been observed to be as large as 22,000 sq. km, an area the size of Massachusetts. The direct effects of hypoxia include fish kills, depletion of fisheries, and loss of habitat for less mobile animals such as crabs and mussels. Specifically, we propose to examine the use of NASA precipitation products, atmospheric constituent measurements, and Ocean Color data products separately and in combination to determine if these can be used to improve modeling of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. We expect that the use of NASA precipitation products will contribute to an improved estimation of the wet deposition of nutrients within the model framework, especially for Nitrogen compounds. We also plan to evaluate the use of data on atmospheric NO2 concentrations and aerosol levels for improving estimates of both wet and dry deposition. Additionally, we will use NASA satellite-based Chlorophyl measurements to validate the calculation of photosynthetically active biomass within the modeling framework.

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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 16, 2011

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