The weekend comes to a close with the gliders continuing their surveys. The northern gliders in the western Gulf are conducting high resolution surveys. While the southern gliders continue their cross-shore surveys of the Florida continental shelf.
The NAVO gliders are on the outside of the projected oil spill zones. The gliders are fanning out. The backscatter plumes are dramatic and they remain 100s(!) of meters thick. The chlorophyll is continues to show a subsurface maximum directly below the thermocline which is ~50 m deep. The CDOM shows little spatial variability except for the depth dependent variability.
The iRobot/APL Seaglider continues to show the complex spatial patterns in the CDOM. The surface waters however are now showing some indications of the low salinity plumes with enhanced chlorophyll. The surface plume is seen as low salinity, enhanced CDOM and chlorophyll and likely reflect plumes from the local wetlands and/or the Mississippi river. The chlorophyll maximum and thermocline is shallower then seen by the NAVO gliders.
For the Florida shelf, the four gliders are making good progress. Starting from the North to south, all the gliders provide a consistent picture of the state of the Florida shelf. The USF SAM glider has made good progress and is now on the inner shelf. The particle loads are high at depth, but surprisingly the chlorophyll values are low. The decision in the next day will be to determine what is the ideal survey given the remaining batteries.
In contrast RU23 is heading offshore into deep water. Like SAM, the particles are higher at depth, but chlorohyll are high at depth. We plan on following the path of the earlier RU21 flight, head to locations near the offshore eddy where there are projections suggesting the possible presence of oil. CDOM patterns match all gliders, EXCEPT THE SEAGLIDER IN THE SPILL, with enhanced values in bottom waters.
RU21 has broken free from the loop current. Planning conitnues for the coming week. We will fly northeast at the suggestion of the Mote Marine team. This will facilitate recovery before we rebattery, and likely do it again. Patterns remain consistent with the last 5 days.
The UDelaware glider makes good progress offshore with the depth steadingly increasing. The main features include a strengthening density dependent stratification, with subsurface bottom water maxima in chlorophyll, particles, and CDOM.