Archive for June, 2010

ROFFS™ Oceanographic Analysis for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Area – 28 June 2010

June 30th, 2010 No comments

Glider data for June 30 2010

June 30th, 2010 No comments

All gliders are doing well this morning.  We take a moment here to toast the Mote team, which did a very rapid turn around the UDel glider that is likely to be redeployed today.  Great work!!!

NAVO gliders show a consistent story as yesterday with low salinity surface plume.  There does appear to some shoaling of the deep CDOM waters.

The Scripps/WHOI Spray glider continues to make progress, but is experiencing strong northwest currents.  The system remains stratified.

The iRobot/APL glider continues its high resolution survey.  The data remains consistent, but the CDOM in the mid-water depth is showing a hint of decrease and the particle loads in the surface waters decreasing.

The USF/Rutgers/Mote gliders along on Florida continue to show enhanced subsurface chlorophyll, CDOM, and particles.  This turbid layer detaches near the shelf break and Waldo’s along the shelf shows minor variability.  RU23 continues its limp to shore with its is cross shore transect .  We look forward to the new data of the UDel glider in the next day or two.


Alex is passing to the south

June 29th, 2010 No comments

Figure 1:  Cloud images of Tropical Storm Alex show the large scale clouds (white) and the radar rain returns (green).  For updates on the path of Alex, go to the NOAA National Hurricane Center

For impacts of the hurricane on the oil spill, you can check the NOAA fact sheet.

Figure 2: A quick look at the in-water assets.

Figure 3: And now the zoom into the northern spill as it continues to spread.  Strong currents to the northeast along the outer shelf persist.  Currents on the eastern side of the slick continue to flow east.

Figure 4: Best of the CSTARS imagery here.  Transitions between light and dark showing the edge of the slick are observed.

Figure 5: Moving south to the southern slick in the Loop Current Eddy, we use the HyCOM model shown here to  look for the interaction with the west Florida shelf.  The low in the sea surface height (blue) and the developing counterclockwise circulation on the northeast side of the eddy in deep water is the new feature here.  Over on the inner shelf, the slow HyCOM currents to the north are in good agreement with the slow HF radar currents to the north.

FIgure 6:  Shifter over to the east coast, we see the Horizon Marine drifter that left the Gulf of Mexico continuing to ride the Gulf Stream north.


June 29 glider data update

June 29th, 2010 No comments

The gliders are doing well this morning.  The UDel glider has been recovered and there are some problems with RU23 which is flying back to shore to be recovered and repaired.

The NAVO gliders show the near surface low salinity plume as they move nearshore.  The low salinity water is loaded with CDOM and phytoplankton. Other then the low salinity plume, CDOM distributions show  an increase with depth with enhanced values associated with the phytoplankton maxima.

The Scripps/WHOI glider is making good progress as it is heading on the offshore side of the deep water rig site.Currents have reversed to the west, and the system is strongly stratified with no low salinity plume in the surface waters.

The iRobot/APL Seaglider continues the high resolution survey on the inside of the Deepwater rig zone and continues to show highly variable CDOM at depth.  There are some indications of a slight decrease in the mid-water depths.  The CDOM is not correlated with the optical backscatter.

The 3 Webb gliders along Florida continue to cruise.  We hope to resolve our data hand shaking today so we can start presenting the data from the USF BASS glider.  RU23 (green dot on the map) is having trouble with the science computer, not effecting flight, just data collection… bummer.  The glider has been redirected back inshore where it will be recovered.  Our expectations is it is a loose connection, which will allow the system to be rapidly repaired and redeployed.  The Mote WALDO glider reveals the enhanced phytoplankton, CDOM, and particle enhancements at depth is a general feature for the shelf.


The Bear is in the igloo

June 28th, 2010 No comments

From:     Gary Kirkpatrick <>
Subject:     [Deepwater] The bear is in the igloo
Date:     June 28, 2010 10:49:51 AM EDT
Reply-To:, ‘Rugliderops’ <>

The Blue Hen is on board and in good shape.

Gary J. Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Mote Marine Laboratory
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, Florida  34236
Phone: (941) 388-4441, ext 271
FAX: (941) 388-4312


June 28 glider data

June 28th, 2010 No comments

The morning has already been a successful day, as the U Del group had the Blue Hen successfully recovered this morning which is great as the battery curve was coming to an end.  The current fleet in tthe Gulf now has the two NAVO gliders, the Scripps/WHOI Spray glider, the iRobot/APL Seaglider, the USF Teledyne Webb glider, the Rutgers Webb glider (ru23), Mote’s WALDO glider.

The NAVO gliders reveal a surface low salinity plume with high CDOM and chlorophyll.  The optical backscatter continues to show the most dramatic variability in the water column. The Scripps/WHOI data is lagged, and hope to get an update today.

The iRobot/APL continues to show the dramatic CDOM data.  The CDOM layer continues to be found below the chlorophyll maximum.  The surface chlorophyll shows some variability in the depth of the maximum that appears to related to the presence or absence of a low salinity surface water.

We are having some hiccups getting BASS data, but the system is flying well.  The shelf gliders show a consistent picture, with subsurface particle, chlorophyll, and CDOM maxima.  We expect some gliders to join the Florida surveys this week.


Another day with more beached oil.

June 27th, 2010 No comments

Figure 1: The NOAA forecast continues to show the main slick spreading along the coasts (see zoom in below). The smaller slicks in the Loop Current Eddy remain small and continue to recirculate.  The Horizon Marine drifter that left the Gulf of Mexico is riding the Gulf Stream and has just swept past Jacksonville, Florida.  It is now offshore the border with Georgia.

Figure 2: Zooming into the main slick, the NOAA forecast has it continuing to spread along the coast from Louisiana to Florida.  The 25-hour average currents from the HF Radars show that there is a persistent flow to the northeast along the outer shelf that runs from the Deepwater Horizon site.  On the western side of this jet, the flow is to the west towards Louisiana. On the eastern side of this jet, the flow is to the north towards Santa Rosa Island on the google earth map.  At the southern end of the main slick, south of the Deepwater Horizon site, 3 Seagliders and 1 Spray are patrolling the area.


Environmental impacts of the oil spill on the Gulf

June 26th, 2010 No comments

Environmental impacts of the oil spill on the Gulf


A day for beached oil reports

June 26th, 2010 No comments

Figure 1:  Our link to the NOAA oil spill forecasts is back. Not good news in the northern Gulf.  Lots of potential beached oil sites.  The 25-hour average HF Radar currents (green arrows) tell the story.  The northeast currents along the eastern side of the slick bring it towards the coast. The currents turn to the west along the coast on the inner shelf and spread the oil west.  Also lots of beached oil in Louisiana where we don’t have the HF radar coverage.  Maybe we should be installing more HF radars in the Gulf?

For the southern slick in the Loop Current Eddy, we still have circulating slicks.  The Horizon Marine drifter that left the Gulf of Mexico is still heading north in the Gulf Stream.  No evidence from the NOAA spill forecasts that any of the slicks are following this drifter at this time.


New Data Products

June 25th, 2010 No comments

Figure 1:  We’ve starting using some of the Products from the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. and click on the “Click Here for Google Earth Layer (kmz file).”  The above figure shows the analysis showing the pbserve slick locations for June 23.  The magenta lines are the deep currents from the previous blog posting.

Figure 2.  Here we have the oil slick forecast from Louisiana for today, June 25.  We have excellent HF Radar coverage of the northern end of the slick.  In the HF Radar fields we  see strong currents to the north east on the outer shelf along the shelf break.  Shoreward and west of this jet we see a counterclockwise circulation with currents to the west on the inner shelf off the coast of Alabama and Mississippi.  To the east of this jet we see the opposite rotation, a weaker clockwise cell.

Figure 3:  We also have our students working on producing new KMZ’s for community use.  Here Mike just gave me a new kmz plotting the SABGOM (South Atlantic Bight, Gulf of Mexico) model from Ruoying He at North Carolina State University.  This first google earth map from SABGOM shows the sea surface temperature.  We’ll keep putting together the current vectors and add the kmz to the Deepwater Horizon portal resource list.

In this zoom out to show the full model domain, we see the Horizon Marine drifter that left the Gulf of Mexico heading north in the Gulf Stream.