2005 Hurricane
Response Drifters


NOAA/AOML  - Miami, FL
UM/RSMAS - Miami, FL

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 Mexico.

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.



ID# 21008 DATA
DEPLOYED: 09/29/2005
FINAL CONTACT: 10:18z on 11/16/2005

ID# 21016 DATA
DEPLOYED: 09/29/2005
FINAL CONTACT: 12:57z on 11/11/2005

ID# 21011 DATA
DEPLOYED: 09/28/2005
FINAL CONTACT: 18:50z on 12/11/2005



ID# 24792 DATA
DEPLOYED: 10/28/2005
FINAL CONTACT: 18:35z on 02/10/2006

ID# 23114 DATA
DEPLOYED: 10/27/2005
FINAL CONTACT: 10:42z on 01/14/2006

ID# 24791 DATA
DEPLOYED: 10/27/2005
FINAL CONTACT: 15:49z on 11/22/2005



ID# 39759 DATA
DEPLOYED: 11/02/2005
FINAL CONTACT: 11:47z on 01/07/2006

ID# 29524 DATA
DEPLOYED: 11/01/2005
FINAL CONTACT: 00:28z on 02/25/2006

In addition to the nearshore CODE drifter deployments shown above, AOML also deployed five open ocean SVP drifters to track the Loop Current and major eddy features in the central Gulf of Mexico following the passage of Hurricane Katrina. These oceanic features are the primary mechanism by which coastal pollution associated with the storm could be transported to more remote downstream regions, such as south Florida. Trajectories of these buoys are shown below. Click on the image for a full resolution plot.

Post Katrina SVP Drifters

Snapshots of these trajectories plotted over altimetry as well as additional post hurricane oceanographic data products can be found at AOML's 2005 Post Hurricane Oceanographic Sampling Web Site.

The oceanographic data served on this site should be considered as PRELIMINARY DATA ONLY!
These data are intended for general scientific interest. NOAA/AOML and the UM/RSMAS
cannot be held liable for the use of these data in any other manner.