Mobile version

One thousand drifters and one future satellite in the Gulf of Mexico

Image of the Month - April 2016

Trajectories of the LASER expedition drifters in the Gulf of Mexico superimposed on surface currents. The red squares mark drifters positions on 9 March 2016 and the tails are 14 days long. Surface speed field was derived from sea level anomalies and Ekman drift corresponding to 9 March 2016. (Credit University of Miami (Edward Ryan/Tamay Ozgokmen))

 

The Gulf of Mexico shows a number of interesting oceanic features. The Loop Current for example enters the Gulf by the strait between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba, and makes a loop that goes more or less deep. Sometimes, this loop breaks, and forms a lone eddy (or ring). This can have real impact, especially on hurricane intensification, and on navigation. Moreover, the Gulf of Mexico is an oil exploration area, that oceanic perturbations like these eddies can seriously disorganize, or even make hazardous.

During January 15 - February 15, 2016, a large coordinated expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, denoted LASER - LAgrangian Submesoscale ExpeRiment was conducted. During this expedition, more than 1000 biodegradable surface drifters have been released and they are being tracked every five minutes, and should last well into April 2016. The expedition was conducted from two ships and at times three aircrafts. The aircrafts measured  fine-scale sea-surface temperature (SST) that was used to guide the ships  to target drifter deployments in real time. Altimetry and other satellite data were used for experimental planning every day. AirSWOT, the airborne instrument prefigurating SWOT altimeter flew over the drifter array.

The comparison of drifter motion and both satellite and airborne measurements should be quite instructive for scientific purposes. AirSWOT results, compared with drifter paths should help preparing for SWOT high-resolution data over ocean.

[The Consortium of Advanced Research for Hydrocarbons in the Environment (http://carthe.org/) is a multi-institutional research group, supported by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/). CARTHE is investigating transport processes in the upper ocean in the aftermath of the 2010 Macondo blowout. It organized the LASER expedition.]

See also:

Other websites on this subject:

EnglishFrançaisEspañol
Rss feedsContactSitemapPartnersFAQGlossaryLexiconMobile
You must enable cookies in your browser preferences to save the modifications
You are using an older version of Internet Explorer, please update to take full advantage of Aviso+ features

Customize the home page

View all widgets
Reduce display
Public profile
User profile

Select/Deselect widgets

Discover AVISO+

Customizable home, reading tools, products search guide, etc.. Discover step by step the features of the new site AVISO+.

Customizable homepage

The new home page is composed of blocks called "widgets".

Rearrange the blocks with a "Click & Drop".

Hide a widget with the cross at the top right. Reset or add a widget with the "wrench" icon. The "User" and "Public" profiles offer a predefined organization.

All the modifications are automatically saved as cookies on your machine so as to enable you to have your own specific AVISO+.

Reading tools

Ease your reading by choosing the page background colour (black/white) and/or by modifying the font size.

Browsing menu and breadcrum trail

To ease your browsing through AVISO+, you can use at any time the main banner items with the interactive submenus or use the browsing menu on the left side of the screen (it is open by default). For more readiness of the page contents, you can fold and unfold the browsing menu by clicking on the tab. At any time you can know where you are thanks to the browsing menu or the breadcrum at the top of the page.

Products search guide

The first submenu of the "Data" banner item leads you to a new search form enabling you to find quickier the product that suits your needs. The list of results is updated according to your selection criteria.

AVISO+ Multimedia

The first submenu of the "Multimedia" banner item leads you to AVISO+ collections of images and videos linked to altimetry and its applications. Have a nice visit!