Great work from the University of South Florida team with the deployment of the glider known as Bass. It was deployed offshore and will surf the loop current south towards the way-point of the Rutgers IOOS glider that is heading offshore. We are expecting Mote team to deploying in the next day or two. So the ability to create a well sampled ocean is underway. These assets will feed directly to the Navy forecast and other data assimilative models to provide improved ocean forecasts to help project potential oil trajectories. Many are involved in a full court press to validate how well the optical sensors can provide proxy signals for hydrocarbon. Current plans, barring any snags, calls on the Gulf glider fleet to include gliders from Rutgers, Mote Marine Laboratory, University of South Florida, University of Mississippi, University of Delaware, University of Washington, and Deep Water Horizon. Current locations of the 2 gliders in the water today are shown in the figure below. Also shown on the figure is some of the initial engineering data from Bass is shown.
Some initial profiles from Bass optical instrumentation is provided below. Values shows very low backscatter and chlorophyll fluorescence compared to the Rutgers IOOS glider (Ru21) that is still heading out to the deep water (compare to the cross shore data posted below). Surface CDOM values which are of specific interest for these efforts and there appear to be similar surface Colored Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) values between Bass and Ru21. By the morning we will have many more profiles and will be able to make a definitive statement.
For Ru21, the story from yesterday continues. Highly stratified waters result in essentially a two-layer system with generally a southerly ocean currents. Offshore high particle, chlorophyll a and highest CDOM waters are found in the bottom waters. There appear to be significant internal waves that glider is encountering as it heads offshore.