In 2005, as part of NOAA's response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, the
Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological
Laboratory (AOML) deployed Lagrangian surface drifters in targeted
nearshore (shallow-water) regions of the Gulf of
Along with satellite data analysis (color, SST and
altimetric), oceanographic cruises and model analysis, these data aided scientists
from AOML and the
University of Miami in the
assessment of the downstream threat posed by coastal
pollution related to Gulf coast hurricane landfalls in the 2005
season. For further information on this assessment, please review the online
abstract and poster titled
"Post-Katrina pollutant and contaminant pathways:
downstream transport or local retention?".
Smith, R. H., P. B. Ortner, V. H. Kourafalou, T. N. Lee, E. M. Johns,
S. R. Cummings, C. R. Kelble, C. Hu. (2006), Post-Katrina pollutant
and contaminant pathways: downstream transport or local retention?,
EOS Trans. AGU, 87(36), Ocean Sci. Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS16H-18
Three separate deployments of drifters were made following storm passages.
Deployments were made by NOAA,
contract, and volunteer vessels (coordinated by NOAA NMFS).
Plotted drifter trajectories and ascii data from these deployments are available below.