Ocean Circulation Lab
USF College of Marine Science

Surface Drifter Trajectory Superimposed on Global HYCOM Simulated Ocean Currents

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Beginning in May 2010, and in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Ocean Circulation Group (OCG) at the USF College of Marine Science (CMS-USF) has deployed surface drifters in and around the Loop Current and on the West Florida Continental Shelf (WFS). The intent of these deployments are to assist in monitoring the evolution of the Loop Current and its eddies and how they are interacting with the West Florida Shelf and to observe surface water movements on the WFS itself. This information is also useful in gauging the behaviors of hydrodynamic models used in tracking the oil spill. Six drifters were initially deployed during the R/V Bellows 19-24 May cruise in a joint effort between the OCG and Optical Oceanography Laboratory at the CMS-USF, FDEP, USCG, and FWC/FWRI. Three additional drifters were deployed during the R/V Weatherbird II 2-14 June cruise by the CMS-USF Ocean Circulation Group assisted by the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). During the most recent R/V Weatherbird II cruise, 22-25 June, nine additional drifters were deployed in a joint effort by the OCG-CMS-USF and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The surface currents, output from data assimilative Global HYCOM, were provided by the HYCOM Consortium. Drifter trajectories are shown as color lines, with open circles indicating the drifter positions at every zero hour UTC.

Back to drifters page.

See a movie of all currently active drifters recently deployed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

See a movie of all drifters (including inactive) recently deployed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

See multiple-model ensemble forecast of surface oil trajectory in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

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The nowcast/forecast system and other analyses/data are research products under development. No warranty is made, expressed or implied, regarding accuracy, or regarding the suitability for any particular application. All rights reserved University of South Florida. Copyright University of South Florida 05/06/2010.

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