Articles | Volume 20, issue 4
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-20-839-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-20-839-2023
Research article
 | 
24 Feb 2023
Research article |  | 24 Feb 2023

Temporal and spatial evolution of bottom-water hypoxia in the St Lawrence estuarine system

Mathilde Jutras, Alfonso Mucci, Gwenaëlle Chaillou, William A. Nesbitt, and Douglas W. R. Wallace

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Latest update: 27 Feb 2024
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Short summary
The deep waters of the lower St Lawrence Estuary and gulf have, in the last decades, experienced a strong decline in their oxygen concentration. Below 65 µmol L-1, the waters are said to be hypoxic, with dire consequences for marine life. We show that the extent of the hypoxic zone shows a seven-fold increase in the last 20 years, reaching 9400 km2 in 2021. After a stable period at ~ 65 µmol L⁻¹ from 1984 to 2019, the oxygen level also suddenly decreased to ~ 35 µmol L-1 in 2020.
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