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River dead zones: identifying and determining hypoxia in rivers across North America


Researchers with the Duke River Center and the Watershed Biogeochemistry Lab investigate patterns of anoxia, or periods of little to no oxygen, in rivers. Oxygen is a necessary element for many organisms to live in rivers, but researchers know little about the timing, duration, and magnitude of low oxygen time periods in rivers, and when organisms will be negatively affected. This project used public sources of continuously measured dissolved oxygen data to identify periods of anoxia and determine aspects of what influences anoxia to occur in rivers, with interest in how these influences connect with climate change, such as warming temperatures and more variable flow conditions. Results of this project will help reveal how climate change is and will influence river chemistry and biology.

Project Lead: Emily Bernhardt

Project Manager: Nick Marzolf

View the team’s project poster here: Team 9

View the team’s project video here:



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Data+ 2023: River Dead Zones

Data+ 2023: River Dead Zones

Data+ 2023: River Dead Zones

Data+ 2023: River Dead Zones