It’s been almost two weeks since we were last out on a boat so it must be time again! On Monday we’ll be loading the RV Hugh R. Sharp for our last trip into the Chesapeake Bay to look at hypoxia this year. With the two Gulf of Mexico cruises this year on top of our two cruises earlier, not to mention the LiDZ cruise in July, it’s been an awfully busy summer, so we haven’t really had a chance to process, let alone digest, the data from earlier this summer. That’s what we’ll do this winter.
The idea behind having 3 cruises is to bracket the hypoxic period in the bay. That is, we are trying to sample the bay during the set-up, maintenance, and break-up of the bottom-water hypoxia. It turns out that so far I think we hit the timing pretty well. In May we saw some hypoixa in the northern portions of our samples area, but much less at the south. In July and August (during the LiDZ and DeZoZoo cruises, respectively) we saw well established hypoxia and anoxia, as well as lots of jellyfish. This month we are expecting to see less hypoxia and anoxia throughout the region, particularly in the south where the breakdown in hypoxia generally begins.
Stay tuned for more posts from the Bay!