August 2018 Hypoxia Report

Release Date:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources — September 7, 2018

"Dissolved oxygen conditions for Maryland’s portion of Chesapeake Bay returned to near average for the month of August, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The department tracks hypoxia throughout the summer during twice monthly monitoring cruises.

Low dissolved oxygen volume was at a record low (0.26 cubic miles) in late July, due to sustained winds and high flows from torrential rainfalls in mid-to-late July. As stormy weather subsided, and warmer days returned, hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/L oxygen) rose to 1.08 cubic miles in early August, and 1.26 cubic miles in late August. Warmer waters hold less oxygen, and as freshwater flows subsided, water column stratification increased, making it more difficult for oxygen to mix into lower depths.

The hypoxic zone appeared to recede northward from early-to-late August, but it should be noted that the station at the Maryland/Virginia line was not sampled in late August due to high winds, which could result in a lower estimate of hypoxic volume for bay waters. . ."

Read the full report at Maryland Department of Natural Resources


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