Please note: You are viewing the unstyled version of this website. Either your browser does not support CSS (cascading style sheets) or it has been disabled. Skip navigation.

Overview

Near-surface GPS drifters in the Red Sea

R. Limeburner, Y. Abualnaja, A. Bower and R. Beardsley

     

GPS drifter in air (photos courtesy of Capt. Ahmed Shaker).


GPS drifter in water.

To see more photos of a GPS drifter deployment, click here


To see a movie of a GPS drifter deployment (courtesy of Capt. Ahmed Shaker), click here

We are deploying Davis-type satellite-tracked surface drifters in the Red Sea during the semi-annual large-scale and small-scale KAUST hydrographic cruises for three years 2010-2012 to investigate the near-surface Lagrangian currents in the Red Sea. These drifter deployments will focus on the small-scale KAUST coastal region, but drifters will also be deployed over the entire eastern Red Sea. The research cruises will collect important hydrographic and biologic data on the Red Sea ecosystem, but to date there have been very few direct measurements of currents. Satellite-tracked drifters provide a simple yet powerful tool to track the motion of near-surface water on time scales ranging from the tidal/inertial band to monthly and longer. The deployment of drifters on KAUST cruises will yield Lagrangian current data of intrinsic interest and help place the other KAUST measurements in the context of the regional circulation. The combined drifter and hydrographic data will provide the first detailed look at the near-surface flow in this important section of the Red Sea. In particular, the KAUST Lagrangian measurements should identify (a) the source region(s) of the coastal current flowing along the coral reefs adjacent to the new KAUST campus and marine science institute and (b) if organized cross-shelf flows occur that help create a gyre-like circulation over the shelf as suggested by regional modeling.

Real-time Data

Figure 1.
Most recent drifter tracks in the Red Sea. Solid white circles every 2 days.

To view a movie of the drifter tracks with 3 day tails click here.


Figure 2. Drifters 2010


Figure 3. Mean surface currents march 17-30, 2010


Figure 4. Vector stickplot 2010 of drifters and Kaust wind stress dynes/cm^2 at the top


Figure 5. Drifter track inside a northern reef near Al Muwaylih, Saudi Arabia.


KAUST 2010 Drifter Deployment Log
ID Irridium # Date Time UTC Latitude D M Longitude D M
5 637660 3/17/2010 0712 22 45.769 37 26.645
6 630070 3/17/2010 1100 23 20.862 37 10.371
7 531950 3/17/2010 1700 24 8.164 36 37.402
8 634060 3/17/2010 2306 24 54.460 36 14.460
9 634600 3/18/2010 1331 26 7.422 35 53.534
10 255690 3/18/2010 1222 27 46.974 35 3.647
11 633070 3/21/2010 0630 27 28.961 34 49.480
12 632080 3/21/2010 1855 26 54.436 35 8.944
13 632580 3/22/2010 0704 27 11.713 35 32.591
14 639060 3/22/2010 1851 26 40.490 35 49.370
15 525920 3/22/2010 2335 26 30.816 35 36.933
16 636070 3/23/2010 0315 26 7.010 35 40.550
17 638060 3/23/2010 0722 25 40.421 35 48.287
18 632070 3/23/2010 1155 25 45.399 35 4.150
19 638590 3/23/2010 1842 25 51.880 36 25.120
20 536940 3/24/2010 0647 25 6.242 35 43.417
21 636600 3/24/2010 1439 24 54.924 36 13.829
22 637070 3/25/2010 0644 24 20.477 36 32.441
23 536990 3/25/2010 0647 24 24.836 37 3.120
24 635070 3/25/2010 1604 24 19.800 36 56.001
25 634080 3/26/2010 2144 23 31.050 37 59.740
26 536930 3/27/2010 0851 23 3.188 37 29.981
27 158640 3/27/2010 1722 22 43.842 37 43.579
28 633080 3/28/2010 0659 23 5.150 38 29.150
29 635320 3/28/2010 2153 22 14.809 38 34.921
30 633580 3/29/2010 0457 22 9.942 38 29.859
31 532950 3/29/2010 1056 22 7.755 38 19.824
32 634070 3/29/2010 1121 22 2.994 37 59.239




Figure 5. Drifter tracks 2008.


Sponsors
This project was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) by Award Nos. USA 00002 and KSA 00011.


Last updated: April 4, 2011
 


whoi logo

Copyright 2007 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, All Rights Reserved, Privacy Policy.
Problems or questions about the site, please contact rlimeburner@whoi.edu