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08.05.2015 15:14 Age: 7 yrs
Category: GEOMAR, General
By: B. Fiedler

New paper: Dead zones in the open Atlantic at CVOO discovered

Maintainance work at the "Cape Verde Ocean Observatory" with the research vessel METEOR. At this long-term monitoring station north of Cape Verde, the scientists have detected an Eddy with low oxygen concentration for the first time. Photo: Toste Tanhua, GEOMAR

A team of German and Canadian researchers have discovered areas with extremely low levels of oxygen in the tropical North Atlantic, several hundred kilometres off the coast of West Africa. The levels measured in these ‘dead zones’, inhabitable for most marine animals, are the lowest ever recorded in Atlantic open waters. The dead zones are created in eddies, large swirling masses of water that slowly move westward. Encountering an island, they could potentially lead to mass fish kills. The research is published today in Biogeosciences, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Read the full English press release on the website of the European Geosciences Union


Karstensen, J., B. Fiedler, F. Schütte, P. Brandt, A. Körtzinger, G. Fischer, R. Zantopp, J. Hahn, M. Visbeck, D. Wallace (2015): Open ocean dead zones in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean, Biogeosciences, 12, 2597-2605, http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-2597-2015