South Florida
Drifter Trajectories

LAGRANGIAN DRIFTER DEPLOYMENTS

NOAA/AOML  - Miami, FL

As part of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's (AOML's) South Florida Program (SFP), AOML has deployed Lagrangian surface drifters in south Florida coastal waters on a regular basis. These satellite-tracked drifters enable scientists to monitor regional flow patterns of the coastal ocean in real-time.

These data, along with ship track data and mooring data, contribute to the AOML SFP and the South Florida Regional Observing System (SF-ROS) implemented by NOAA/AOML in support of South Florida Everglades Restoration and NOAA legislative regional mandates with regard to living marine resource protection and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The integrated SF-ROS system consists of these observations and a regional hydrodynamic model (SoFla HYCOM) which will assimilate these data.

Drifter deployment locations have varied depending on the configuration of the cruise track. However, deployments are typically conducted at the mouth of the Shark River north of Cape Sable, at Riley's Hump in the Dry Tortugas, and in the Caloosahatchie River discharge near Charlotte Harbor. More recently, sites have also included Cape Romano and the Pulley Ridge. These regional surface drifter trajectories have been collected since the mid 1990's.

In addition to maintaining a long-term deployment time-series at these locations, AOML SFP drifter deployments have also been conducted in response to extreme events in the Gulf of Mexico, upstream from the south Florida marine ecosystem. For example, during the 2005 hurricane season, drifter deployments were organized to track suspected pollutant/contaminant pathways in the Gulf of Mexico via the Loop Current. Trajectories and data from these buoys can be found on the AOML SFP 2005 Hurricane Response Drifters website.

Due to a cessation in funding, the AOML SFP has not been able to conduct regular drifter deployments since 2012. Regular deployments will resume should funding be restored.

ACTIVE SOUTH FLORIDA DRIFTER TRAJECTORIES

At the present time, there are no active AOML SFP drifter deployments.

HISTORICAL SOUTH FLORIDA PROGRAM DRIFTER TRAJECTORIES

DEPLOYMENT

DESCRIPTION

BUOY ID#

TRANSMISSION

FEB 2012 DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Drifter meanders northwest on the southwest Florida Shelf.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA
947159 02/29/12 - 04/07/12
MAR 2012 CAPE ROMANO DEPLOYMENT
Drifter meanders northwest on the Florida Shelf.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA
947671 03/01/12 - 05/29/12
MAR 2012 SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts west, then north on the southwest Florida Shelf.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA
947980 03/01/12 - 05/30/12

DEC 2011

CAPE ROMANO DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts west southwest, dies near shelf break.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

947645

12/13/11 - 02/05/12

DEC 2011

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest, grounds near Key West.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

949895

12/14/11 - 02/03/12

DEC 2011

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy is quickly ejected from the region via the Florida Current.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

945714

12/13/11 - 02/03/12

OCT 2011

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy recirculates extensively along Keys reef tract.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA
annotated PDF

945719

10/22/11 - 01/12/12

OCT 2011

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy travels to the Dry Tortugas before grounding in Ft. Lauderdale.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

949809

10/23/11 - 12/14/11

OCT 2011

CAPE ROMANO DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts south, dies early after five days.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

946701

10/22/11 - 10/27/11

AUG 2011

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts slowly north along coast.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

950144

08/06/11 - 09/29/11

AUG 2011

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches Tortugas Gyre, then grounds on Duck Key.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

950220

08/05/11 - 08/18/11

AUG 2009

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy heads north, then south towards Marquesas Keys.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67976

08/26/09 - 11/27/09

AUG 2009

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy meanders westward, offshore Shark River.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70427

08/27/09 - 10/18/09

APR 2009

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy meanders north, grounds near Marco Island.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70427

04/23/09 - 06/11/09

APR 2009

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts north, dies offshore St. Pete.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70429

04/22/09 - 06/05/09

JAN 2009

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts slowly south, grounds near 7MB.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67970

01/23/09 - 02/11/09

JAN 2009

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches frontal eddies, grounds near Indian Key.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70432

01/25/09 - 02/11/09

OCT 2008

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts NW before catchcing Loop Current.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70432

10/19/08 - 11/23/08

OCT 2008

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts SW, grounds in Marquesas Keys.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70428

10/21/08 - 11/15/08

OCT 2008

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts north, then south, dies early.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70430

10/20/08 - 11/07/08

MAY 2008

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches eddies and Tortugas Gyre, dies in The Quicksands.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70424

05/07/08 - 06/16/08

FEB 2008

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts north and south about its deployment site.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70425

02/11/08 - 05/16/08

FEB 2008

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts south through 7MB, grounds at Boca Chica.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67970

02/11/08 - 03/19/08

FEB 2008

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts east, catches recirculation, grounds near Marathon.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70424

02/09/08 - 02/21/08

OCT 2007

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts south then west on SW Florida Shelf.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67971

10/16/07 - 12/04/07

OCT 2007

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy meanders on Shelf before reaching Loop Current front.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67968

10/15/07 - 11/18/07

OCT 2007

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest and grounds near Key West.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67969

10/17/07 - 11/13/07

MAY 2007

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches recirculation, prior to ejection from region.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67979

05/22/07 - 08/27/07

MAY 2007

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy lingers on SW Florida Shelf near deployment site.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67977

05/20/07 - 08/11/07

MAY 2007

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy lingers on SW Florida Shelf near deployment site.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67978

05/20/07 - 07/14/07

FEB 2007

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy meanders north and then drifts southwest toward Loop Current.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70426

02/23/07 - 04/09/07

FEB 2007

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches recirculation south of Key Largo, grounds near 7MB.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70425

02/24/07 - 03/27/07

FEB 2007

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest and grounds near Upper Harbor Key.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70424

02/18/07 - 03/27/07

NOV 2006

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy loops in Tortugas Gyre and is then ejected from the region.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70421

11/04/06 - 01/23/07

NOV 2006

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy meanders westward on SW Florida shelf.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70422

11/02/06 - 01/17/07

NOV 2006

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy dies upon deployment.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

70423

11/01/06 - 11/01/06

AUG 2006

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy travels NW from deployment site.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

29571

08/08/06 - 10/16/06

AUG 2006

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy travels NW in frontal eddies along edge of Loop Current.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67974

08/11/06 - 10/03/06

AUG 2006

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy dies early at the mouth of the Shark River.

PDF | PS | JPG | DATA

67972

08/07/06 - 08/30/06

MAY 2006

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy travels NW in frontal eddies along edge of Loop Current.

PS | JPG | DATA

29570

05/04/06 - 07/28/06

JAN 2006

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy meanders southwestward on SW Florida shelf.

PS | JPG | DATA

29526

01/20/06 - 03/30/06

JAN 2006

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches recirculation south of lower Keys.

PS | JPG | DATA

29572

01/22/06 - 02/12/06

JAN 2006

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest and is recovered near Big Pine Key.

PS | JPG | DATA

29571

01/19/06 - 02/12/06

NOV 2005

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest and then catches the Florida Current.

PS | JPG | DATA

29524

11/01/05 - 02/25/06

NOV 2005

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest and then catches the Florida Current.

PS | JPG | DATA

39759

11/02/05 - 01/07/06

AUG 2005

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy driven north by Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

PS | JPG | DATA

52522

08/18/05 - 10/25/05

AUG 2005

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy quickly ejected from region via Florida Current.

PS | JPG | DATA

52817

08/16/05 - 10/25/05

AUG 2005

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy rapidly driven north by Hurricane Katrina then heads west.

PS | JPG | DATA

43823

08/20/05 - 09/20/05

JUN 2005

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy circles in Tortugas Gyre and is then driven north by Katrina.

PS | JPG | DATA

52819

06/13/05 - 08/26/05

JUN 2005

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy grounds on Egmont Key and is redeployed by Good Samaritan.

PS | JPG | DATA

52825

06/11/05 - 08/10/05

JUN 2005

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts northwest and dies early offshore Charlotte Harbor.

PS | JPG | DATA

52820

06/09/05 - 07/21/05

APR 2005

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts south through Bahia Honda Channel, grounds near Key West.

PS | JPG | DATA

52823

04/14/05 - 05/21/05

APR 2005

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy quickly ejected from region via Florida Current.

PS | JPG | DATA

52827

04/10/05 - 06/17/05

FEB 2005

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts east and is struck by a boat south of Key West.

PS | JPG | DATA

52821

02/13/05 - 03/01/05

FEB 2005

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy meanders southward, then northward, dies west of Marco Island.

PS | JPG | DATA

52826

02/10/05 - 03/19/05

FEB 2005

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy passes through 7-Mile Bridge and grounds near Long Key.

PS | JPG | DATA

52825

02/08/05 - 03/08/05

DEC 2004

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts west then east with Florida Current. Recovered near Miami.

PS | JPG | DATA

52825

12/14/04 - 12/29/04

DEC 2004

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches Loop Current and rides Tortugas Gyre for 3 revolutions.

PS | JPG | DATA

52824

12/11/04 - 02/27/05

DEC 2004

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy passes through 7-Mile Bridge and catches Tortugas Gyre.

PS | JPG | DATA

52816

12/10/04 - 02/03/05

OCT 2004

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest. It is picked up and then redeployed by boater.

PS | JPG | DATA

52818

10/21/04 - 12/29/04

AUG 2004

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches gyre near middle Keys then heads north in Gulf Stream.

PS | JPG | DATA

52815

08/20/04 - 10/08/04

AUG 2004

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy interacts with hurricanes. Loops northwest along SW Fl. shelf.

PS | JPG | DATA

52814

08/20/04 - 10/22/04

AUG 2004

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy struck by boat and dies early.

PS | JPG | DATA

52813

08/19/04 - 09/04/04

JUN 2004

CHARLOTTE HARBOR DEPLOYMENT
Buoy heads northwest along the coast. Grounds south of Tampa.

PS | JPG | DATA

39761

06/13/04 - 07/08/04

JUN 2004

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Gyre deployment south of 7MB. Buoy grounds soon after.

PS | JPG | DATA

43823

06/08/04 - 06/14/04

APR 2004

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy rides Gulf Stream out to 55W catching rings in transit.

PS | JPG | DATA

39768

04/28/04 - 07/14/04

APR 2004

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy slowly drifts northwest towards 10,000 Islands.

PS | JPG | DATA

39767

04/24/04 - 07/19/04

FEB 2004

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy deployed south of Key West. Grounds on Loggerhead Key.

PS | JPG | DATA

39761

02/24/04 - 03/10/04

FEB 2004

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest. Picked up by fisherman on 03/06.

PS | JPG | DATA

43823

02/19/04 - 03/06/04

DEC 2003

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy plays in frontal eddies off of GA coast.

PS | JPG | DATA

43825

12/13/03 - 04/22/04

DEC 2003

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts due south. Grounds north of 7-Mile Bridge.

PS | JPG | DATA

43822

12/10/03 - 01/03/04

AUG 2003

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy catches Tortugas Gyre, picked up by fisherman on 08/19.

39761

08/07/03 - 08/19/03

JUN 2003

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts northwest.

39760

06/07/03 - 10/31/03

APR 2003

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts northwest. Grounds once on 5/20 and again on 5/27.

39759

04/23/03 - 05/27/03

APR 2003

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts northward, then dies early on 04/30.

29569

04/20/03 - 04/30/03

FEB 2003

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts northwest very slowly, possibly entangled.

21016

02/16/03 - 04/09/03

FEB 2003

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy picked up by fisherman shortly after deployment.

29569

02/13/03 - 02/16/03

DEC 2002

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts northward, then southward to Sugarloaf Key.

39759

12/08/02 - 01/18/03

DEC 2002

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy failed upon deployment.

21008

12/05/02 - 12/23/02

OCT 2002

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts southwest and grounds near Key West.

29569

10/09/02 - 11/22/02

OCT 2002

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts in Tortugas for weeks, then grounds at Elliot Key.

21016

10/06/02 - 11/21/02

AUG 2002

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts northwest.

19972

08/15/02 - 12/20/02

AUG 2002

DRY TORTUGAS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy loops in the Tortugas Gyre, then heads north to GA.

29572

08/09/02 - 11/22/02

JUN 2002

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy drifts northwest, picked up by samaritan and redeployed.

29524

06/05/02 - 08/19/02

MAY 2002

FLORIDA KEYS DEPLOYMENT
Buoy heads north in Gulf Stream.

29568

05/24/02 - 08/31/02

FEB 2002

SHARK RIVER DEPLOYMENT
Buoy meanders on Southwest Florida Shelf.

29526

02/22/02 - 07/02/02

MORE HISTORICAL DATA TO COME...




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