GDP Drifter Data

Data from Global Drifter Program (GDP) buoys is available in various formats.

Links and a brief description on how to access drifter data are found below:

Real-Time Drifter Data

Real time drifter data and graphs are distributed on the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) for improved weather and climate forecasting and ocean state estimation. To access real-time drifter data and/or plot trajectories for recently deployed drifters, select the desired option at Real-Time Drifter Data.

Six-Hourly Interpolated Drifter Data

The Drifter Data Assembly Center (DAC) at AOML applies quality control procedures to drifter data (position and temperature) and interpolates them to 6-hour intervals using an optimum interpolation procedure called kriging, which is commonly used for two and three-dimensional analyses. Interpolated data, and metadata, from more than 30,000 drifters are available for download at Six-Hourly Interpolated Drifter Data. These data go back to the earliest available GDP observations in 1979.

Hourly Interpolated Data

The hourly drifter dataset is a valuable new tool for the study of relatively small-scale and high-frequency oceanic processes. In particular, velocity rotary spectra demonstrate that high frequency tidal and internal wave motions are detectable globally. To learn more about this new tool and download the entire dataset, visit Hourly Interpolated Dataset. These data are available primarily since the early 2000's when satellite coverage was sufficient to resolve hourly motion.

Drifter Data Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to drifter data, visit the Drifter Data FAQ webpage.

Establishing an ERDDAP Server

With the growing importance for strong data management principles, Samantha Ouertani's 'An Overview of the Global Drifter Program's ERDDAP Server: From Set-up to Metrics' seminar detailing the benefits of the Global Drifter Program's ERDDAP server is available on . For those interested in establishing an ERDDAP server, reference the presentation for great insight, links, and additional resources!