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Keywords:

  • hypoxia;
  • interannual variability;
  • shelf circulation

Each spring the winds off Oregon shift, changing ocean currents and spurring the onset of the upwelling season, an approximately 4-month period when cold, nutrient-rich, oxygen-depleted deep water is driven into the coastal region. However, in recent decades, measurements have shown that the concentration of oxygen in the waters off Oregon has been decreasing. In the past few years, summer hypoxia—in which oxygen is depleted enough to harm aquatic organisms—has been getting more and more severe.