2012 Drifter Tracks

resolving transport pathways through New England's estuarine and continental shelf waters and beyond

updated every two hours

GoogleMap of just this week's tracks
How to get involved with the project
To see this week's tracks overlaid on other fields (sst, models, etc), go to the MARACOOS site and click on "Drifter" layer.
Description of the drifters.
Blog about students deploying drifters with our MATE colleagues
Drifter newsletters
Download raw data of this years drifters
Raw statistics.
Download tracks stored in historical database
Calculate and reserve a "deployment id"
Document a drifter deployment
Document a drifter recovery

Last year's webpage.

To get PYTHON and/or MATLAB processing routines, email James Manning for the latest versions.

Get the Flash Player to see this animation.

To see information on individual clusters, click the links in the following cronological table

Institution (data) Deployer (cruise report) Date Deployed (animation) Dropsite #units Science Status (customized googlemap) Type of Unit (photo) Fate (photo)
CFCCShaw 27 Sep 2011 Gulf Stream 1MATE educationaldone PVC Rachel rode the Gulf Stream, turned south, approached Bermuda, and died on St Patrick's Day 2012
CFCCShaw 12 Oct 2011 Gulf Stream 1MATE educationaldone PVC Rachel rode the Gulf Stream fast, stalled, and died 8 March 2012
URI/GSOKincaid/Pfeiffer 12 Oct 2011 Block Island Sound 6shelf processes done PVC Rachel all blown east 14-16 Oct. Four washed up on the Vineyard (a few recovered by Keston Smith and Sidney Morris). One circumnavigated the Vineyard, reentered coastal current, went past Grand Banks, and died in March 2012
SMCCLong/Tarbox 10 Nov 2011 Casco Bay 1educational donewood Eddie NE Peak of Georges Bank in January, Grand Banks by March, and died on 6 May 2012
NOAA/NEFSCRichardson/Prezioso 13 Nov 2011 Georges Bank 3Herring Larvae done wood Eddie stalled a week, accelerated, entrained in ring, all dead by late March 2012
Canterbury School of Florida Marine StuduesCummings 14 Mar 2012 West Florida Shelf 1MATE educational donewood Eddie headed NW and died in mid-May
Stellwagen Bank SanctuaryRunfula/Stanitski17 Apr 2012 Mass Bay 2educational donewood Eddie and WOCE drogue the surface drifter, apparently damaged in Boston shipping lane, was found on a beach in Shelbourne, Nova Scotia by Avery Nagy-MacArthur while the ADP drogued drifter conducted a healthy circumnavigation of Georges Bank in traditional fashion before going dead in mid-August
UMASS BostonGardner 19 Apr 2012 Apalachee Bay 3educational donePlastic Pelican Boxes w/aluminum vanes headed east-southeast (opposite to last year's drift) and came ashore on 26 April
NOAA/Educational PassagesKocik/Music 02 May 2012 Gulf of Maine 2salmon doneboats under sail boats under sail one recovered ashore on Scrags Island (11 May) by Swan's Island Harbormaster and the other recovered ashore on Isle au Haut (16 May) by lobsterman, Greg Runge
Educational PassagesBaldwin12 May 2012 Gulf Stream 5educational underwayboats under sail boats under sail; blown ashore by two tropical storms Alberto and Beryll landing 25 May through 29 May, and relaunched a few weeks later. Two washed ashore in Newfoundland on 20 August, recovered with help from Clarence Careen and Alphonsus Murphy, refurbished by Dwight Howse, and redeployed on Oct 11th just west of the Grand Banks. One apparently went down in Hurrican Raphael mid-ocean. One landed in South Wales.
Penn State/GLERLBoughton/Schwab07 May 2012
17 May 2012
25 Sep 2012
09 Nov 2012
07 Dec 2012
Lake Erie 5educational/science underwaywood Eddie1st died after 2 days,
2nd apparently went over the falls on 4 June,
3rd failed in late June,
4th lost ballast after a few weeks,
5th apparently lost flotation, washed up a few towns south of Buffalo,
6th ...
GLERL/UMichiganMcCormick/Schwab 22 May 2012 Lake Michigan & Huron 2exchange processesdonewood Eddie one died near shore on 27 May and the other a few days later
NOAA/Educational PassagesColbert/Music 28 May 2012 Georges Bank 2salmon doneboats under sail deployed by Bob Colbert's captains; both eventually swept into Gulf Stream; one died near New England Seamounts in late June and the other mid-ocean in mid-December
NOAA Teachers at SeaAnnetta/Haas/Smolowitz01 June 2012 Mid-Atlantic Bight 4educational/turtles underwaywood Eddie Teacher-made surface drifters get away from the tagged turtles. Of the three entrained into Gulf Stream, one encountered a "warm core ring", another a "cold core ring", and one apparently went down with in the wrath of Hurricane Rafael in mid-October
MPC/MBARIHochstaedter/Ryan 17 July 2012 off Monteray CA 1educational/OOS donewood Eddie
UNH-CMBGoldstein/Watson 20 June 2012
11 July 2012
27 July 2012
7 Aug 2012
4 Sep 2012
21 Sep 2012
28 Sep 2012
Great Bay 2
lobstersdoneplastic buckets multiple groundings
OceanQuestPalance/Capt.Pete 21 June 2012
05 July 2012
19 July 2012
Vineyard Sound1
instrument testdoneDan,Steve,Steve first 2 failed after 2 days and the 3rd reported a few weeks later near Monomoy Island
Advanced Biotech Institute/Zephyr Marine EducationReynolds/Palance 12 July 2012 Vineyard Sound1instrument testdonewood Dan 2nd "Dan Drifter" with broom-handle mast suddenly went silent on 18 July. The mast reported from a beach in Newport on 23 July so that Dan could recover it
NOAA SEFSC Mansfield 18 July 2012 Gulf of Mexico4turtlesdone 2 Eddies & 2 Buckets One bucket failed after a few days while the other three (bucket leading) gradually headed ESE towards Florida
Grand Valley State Univ Kendall 30 July 2012
08 Nov 2012
Lake Michigan1
Water Resourcesdone wood Eddieafter nearly a month of diurnal oscillations, a fisherman took it out of the water and brought it home where it was refurbished and redeployed on 8 Nov. Landed on the beach a few weeks later.
Sea Education Association Moret-Ferguson
06 Aug 2012
27 Aug 2012
Maine Coastal Current1
plastic driftdoneexperimental wood Dan first failed after a few days
and the second, deployed in Mass Bay, started failing after one month, and last reported on Oct 26th
OceanQuestBradley/Capt.Pete 11 Aug 2012 Vineyard Sound1instrument testdoneexperimental Conor came ashore on Naushon 12 Aug, reported by Brian, the deck hand on Naushon Island ferry, recovered by Tommy Vose, redeployed by Tiejte/Bowden with transmitter not reporting on 17 Aug
Cape Henlopen High School/Univ. of DelawareGeppert/Luther 20 Aug 2012
22 Oct 2012
Mid Atlantic Bight
Mid Atlantic Ridge
educationalunderwayexperimental Dans The first deployed mid-shelf, headed northeast, and started failing in early October. The second, deployed mid-ocean, ...
Schroer30 Aug 2012
31 Aug 2012
Labrador Shelf4
waste water assessmentdone
drogues deployment logs "in progress"
FSU Speer/Hancock06 Sep 2012Gulf of Mexico2sediment transportdonePVC surface floating drogue 24 hr test deployment
Maine Maritime Sahl20 Sep 2012Penobscot Bay1educationaldoneEddie mysteriously went silent as it headed back to Castine
CFCCShaw 09 Oct 2012 Gulf Stream 2MATE educationaldone PVC Rachel both caught in strong Gulf Stream meanders but failed in mid-November and mid-December
Newton North High School/Zephyr Gibson/Reynolds 11 Oct 2012 Vineyard Sound 1educationaldone experimental Dan Broom-handle-mast-extension apparently busted after about 12 hours. Parts were recovered on the beach by Caitlin Houghton near West Chop on the Vineyard a few days later and called in by her mother Amy. About the same time, the transmitter started reporting from an Edgartown neighborhood after a James Taggert of Maine who was down fishing in the Stripped Bass Derby had recovered it. In the end, nearly the entire drifter was returned to Woods Hole thanks to Chris Scott of the USCG. A long story resulted involving multiple islanders published in the MV Times.
Monterey Peninsula CollegeHochstaedter/Sullivan 14 Oct 2012 West Coast 1educationaldone PVC rachel came ashore a few days later
NOAA SEFSC Mansfield 20 Oct 2012
22 Oct 2012
Gulf of Mexico2
turtlesunderway Eddie/Bucket pairs diverged significantly with one headed west and ...
TAMAR/SEFSC/PIFSC/FIUMansfield 08 Nov 2012
11 Nov 2012
Brazil 2
turtlesdone2 Brunos,1 Eddie, 1 Bucket one Bruno made significant alongshore progress to the south (the other Bruno failed first few days), one bucket recovered ashore by Milagros on 28 Nov, one eddie headed offshore but then came ashore in December
Educational PassagesBaldwinFall 2012 Gulf Stream 3educational underway!boats under saildeployed Dec 1st off N. Carolina by Joe Robillard...
UMaine OronoPettigrew/NearyFall 2012 Linekin Bay Maine2fish farm assessmentdonewood Dans private contract
SMCCLong/TarboxFall 2012 Casco Bay 2educationalplannedwood Eddie

Note: Most units are prepared by marine science students at the Southern Maine Community College. The majority are standard "surface drifters" marking only the top 1-meter of the water column, but some units, as in the case of EP boats, track the wind and wave at the surface and some have 6m by 0.6m subsurface drogues centered at 15m below the surface. For details, call 508-495-2211 or email james.manning@noaa.gov.