Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility

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Subtask: Hindcast of NGOM Holocene Climate and Environmental Variability

Subtask Leader: Lisa Osterman - USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, St. Petersburg, Florida

Aim

Information on climate and environmental variability as well as sea level change during the Holocene are needed to help establish the forces controlling the evolution of northern Gulf of Mexico coastal systems and help anticipate future changes. Evaluation and synthesis of existing data are needed to identify gaps in knowledge and to identify the areas and types of new information that are needed. Accordingly Subtask 2.3 will first characterize and synthesize climate and broad-scale changes in the coastal region of the northern Gulf of Mexico over the last ~ 10,000 years. Once the overview is completed the effort will focus on developing more detailed documentation of the history and evolution of specific depositional systems through time.

Information on climate and environmental variability will be developed through analyses of marine and continental sediments. Existing records and companion studies from areas adjacent to the NGOM coast will be used to place local records into regional and hemispheric context.

Map shows development and expansion of the hypoxia zone off the Mississippi Delta over the 20th century.  Much of the current Dead Zone was established by 1960.
Analyses of microfossils preserved in sediment cores can be used to identify past occurrences of low-oxygen bottom-water conditions (hypoxia). When combined with 210Pb and other dating techniques the history and distribution of past hypoxia events can be traced for coastal areas.
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Approach

The initial focus of the effort was on reviewing, compiling and synthesizing existing studies on climate and environmental data for the NGOM region. The effort is now focused on integrating new climate and environmental data with information on sediment properties including distribution and geometry determined by seismic surveys in specific depositional settings. The work is done cooperatively with activities being conducted under tasks 2.1 and 2.2. The end result leads to the documentation of the evolution of the systems through time.

Accomplishments

  • Completed synthesis of Holocene climate and environmental change in northern Gulf Coast
  • Completed documentation of the 20th Century history of hypoxia off the Mississippi Delta
  • Completed documentation of Holocene evolution of Apalachicola Bay, Florida
Time series showing the Holocene evolution of Apalachicola Bay, Florida.  Based on interpretation of seismic lines, microfossil analysis of vibracores and radiocarbon dates of wood and shells.
Time series showing the Holocene evolution of Apalachicola Bay, Florida. Based on interpretation of seismic lines, microfossil analysis of vibracores and radiocarbon dates of wood and shells.
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Publications

Manuscripts

Osterman, L.E., Poore, R.Z., Swarzenski, P.W., Senn, D.B., and Dimarco, S.F., 2009, The 20th Century development and expansion of Louisiana shelf hypoxia, Gulf of Mexico; Geo-Marine Letters, v. 29, n. 6. P. 405-414.
Osterman, L.E., Twichell, D.C., and Poore, R.Z., 2009, Holocene evolution of Apalachicola Bay: Geo-Marine Letters, v. 29, no. 6, p. 395-404.
Rosenbauer, R.J., Swarzenski, P.W., Kendall, W.H., Hostettler, F.D., and Rollog, M.E., 2009, A carbon, nitrogen, and sulfer elemental and isotopic study in dated sediment cores from the Louisiana Shelf; Geo-Marine Letters, v. 29, n. 6. P. 415-430.
Poore, R. Z., 2008, Holocene Climate and Climate Variability of the Northern, Gulf of Mexico and Adjacent Northern Gulf Coast: A Review; The Open, Paleontology Journal, v. 1, p. 7-11

Open File Report(OFR)

Osterman, L.E., Kelley, W.S., and Ricardo, J.P., 2008, Benthic foraminiferal census data from Louisiana shelf cores, Gulf of Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1348.
Osterman, L.E., Poore, R.Z., and Swarzenski, P.W., 2008, Gulf of Mexico dead zone - 1000-year record: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1099, 2 p.

Abstracts and Presentations

Osterman, L. E., Poore, R. Z., and Swarzenski, P. W., 2008, 1000 years of recurring natural and anthropogenic low-oxygen water on the Louisiana Shelf, Gulf of Mexico: Ocean Sciences Meeting – March 2008. Orlando, Florida
Osterman, L.E., Poore, R.Z., and Swarzenski, P.W., 2008, 20th Century development and expansion of Louisiana shelf hypoxia, Gulf of Mexico [abstract and presentation], in Lavoie, D., and Rosen, B., eds., USGS Gulf Coast Science Conference and Florida Integrated Science Center Meeting: Proceedings with Abstracts, October 20-23, 2008, Orlando, FL: St. Petersburg, FL, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1329, p. 73.
Osterman, L.E., Poore, R.Z., and Swarzenski, P.W., 2008, 1000 years of recurring natural and anthropogenic low-oxygen water on the Louisiana shelf, Gulf of Mexico [abstract #46], in 2008 Ocean Sciences meeting, March 2-7, 2008, Orlando, FL, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography.
Osterman, L.E., Swarzenski, P.W., and Poore, R.Z., 2008, A 1000 year record of low-oxygen bottom water on the Louisiana shelf, Gulf of Mexico [abstract], in Lavoie, D., and Rosen, B., eds., USGS Gulf Coast Science Conference and Florida Integrated Science Center Meeting: Proceedings with Abstracts, October 20-23, 2008, Orlando, FL: St. Petersburg, FL, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1329, online only.
Osterman, L.E., Twichell, D.C., and Poore, R.Z., 2008, Holocene evolution of Apalachicola Bay, Florida [abstract and poster], in Lavoie, D., and Rosen, B., eds., USGS Gulf Coast Science Conference and Florida Integrated Science Center Meeting: Proceedings with Abstracts, October 20-23, 2008, Orlando, FL: St. Petersburg, FL, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1329, p. 74.

Other

Osterman, L.E., and Twichell, D.C., 2011, Holocene evolution of Apalachicola Bay, Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3028, 2 p.
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