2013 Drifter Tracks

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

updated every two hours

See a GoogleMap of just this month's tracks
Drifter construction manuals
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
See drifters documented on the NERACOOS website
Drifters in the news
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)
Educational PassagesBaldwin12 May 2012 Gulf Stream 5educational doneboats 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, was redeployed SW of the Azores at end of March 2013 and and landed on a sand beach on the NW corner of Portugal on Jan 28, 2014.
Penn State/GLERLBoughton/Schwab07 May 2012
17 May 2012
25 Sep 2012
09 Nov 2012
07 Dec 2012
Lake Erie 5educational/science donewood 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,
and the 6th hungup a few miles prior to the falls
NOAA Teachers at SeaAnnetta/Haas/Smolowitz01 June 2012 Mid-Atlantic Bight 4educational/turtles donewood 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 but then cam back to life.
Cape Henlopen High School/Univ. of DelawareGeppert/Luther 20 Aug 2012
22 Oct 2012
Mid Atlantic Bight
Mid Atlantic Ridge
educationaldoneexperimental Dans The first deployed mid-shelf, headed northeast, and started failing in early October. The second, deployed mid-ocean, ...
NOAA SEFSC Mansfield 20 Oct 2012
22 Oct 2012
Gulf of Mexico2
turtlesdone Eddie/Bucket pairs diverged significantly with one headed west and ...
Educational PassagesBaldwin02 Dec 2012 Gulf Stream 3educational underwayboats under saildeployed Dec 1st, 2012 off N. Carolina by Joe Robillard; one found by a small boat fishermen near Guernsey Island (off the NW corner of France) on Feb 16th, 2014, one got stuck in what is apparently a "garbage patch" SW of the Azores for nearly a year, one did a gyre loop back to SC after a few months.
SMCCLong/Tarbox12 Feb 2013 Casco Bay 1educationaldonewood Eddie usual southward flow for first month through a series of Northeasters that eventually, on the morning of 7 March, shipwrecked it on the outer beach of North Truro Massachusetts where it was apparently buried in the sand
Swampscott High Wilbur13 Mar 2013 Mass Bay 1educationaldonewood Eddie deployed by lobsterman Justin Mahoney from Nahant, stalled into Cape Cod Bay for a few weeks, headed quickly to Great South Channel, stalled there for a few weeks, traveled across the Northeast Channel on to the Scotian Shelf, and finally died
NOAA/PIFSC/TAMARMansfield4-8 Mar 2013 off Brazil4turtlesdone3 buckets & 1 eddie one failed after 1st day but showed up a week later on the beach, the others documented quick advection south along the coast and ended up in the same area
Dartmouth High Brumsted08 Apr 2013 SNE Shelf 1educationaldonewood Eddie deployed by New Bedford scalloper, Carlos Pereira, from the F/V Acores off Wellfleet, washed into Nauset Marsh after a few days of easterlies, recovered by Suzanne Phillips, an ornithologist for the Town of Chatham, picked up by Jim Manning, redeployed as GLPCS by ....
Global Learning Charter SchoolHarris08 Apr 2013 SNE Shelf 1educationaldonewood Eddie deployed by New Bedford scalloper, Carlos Pereira, from the F/V Acores off Wellfleet, washed into Nauset Marsh after a few days of easterlies, recovered by Scott Rushnak while picking mussels, picked up by Janice Dill, head of the "environmetal challenge" group of home schooled children, and redeployed at DHS by ...
New England Science and SailingHorrigan24 Apr 2013 NJ Shelf 2educationaldonewood Eddie deployed mid-shelf by a scalloper out of Stonington, Ct, Bob Bomster. One apparently failed with only a few GPS fixes while the other looked healthy for about a week and then started to fail as well
Global Learning Charter and Falmouth High SchoolHarris/Reynolds/Milliken25 Apr 2013Nantucket Sound 1educationaldonewood Eddie deployed by Zephyr Education boat with Falmouth High School students aboard, visited Long Island Sound in early May, returned to shelf, and finally went dead in late June off NY
NOAA/PIFSC/TAMARMansfield01 May 2013 off Brazil4turtlesdone3 buckets & 1 Eddie a few apparently failed on 1st day, but the other two documented quick advection NORTH and then died
Newburyport HighMasterson10 May 2013 Southern Maine Coast 2educationaldonewood Eddie deployed by fishermen from Newburyport MA, one episodic with transmissions died in the Eastern Maine Coastal Current in late August and the other traveled into the Fundy tide (over 7000 kilometers logged) before it landed in Berwick Nova Scotia in early November.
Dartmouth High and Environmental Challenge GroupBrumsted/Dill12 May 2013 Georges Bank 1educationaldonewood Eddie deployed by Fairhaven lobsterman, George Beckford , from the F/V Sallie and Catherine on Georges Bank but only lasted a few weeks
NOAA/SEFSCMansfield21 May 2013 Gulf of Mexico4turtlesdone?2 buckets & 2 Eddies strong westward flow, two failed in 1st week and two in 2nd week
Patriot BoatsTietje/Bowden24 May 2013 Nantucket Sound1experimentaldone1st bamboo "Cassie" deployment deployed by Massasoit's Jen & Colin, came ashore a few days later on Martha's Vineyard where USCG's Gary Kovack recovered it
Patriot BoatsTietje/Bowden03 June 2013 Nantucket Sound1experimentaldone2nd bamboo "Cassie" deployment redeployed by Capt Bowden, oscillated with tide for about a week and went silent near the time of the tsunami on June 13th
Boy Scouts & Retirement CenterBaldwin03 June 2013 Gulf Stream 2educational doneboats under sail deployed near Puerto Rico off the State of Maine training vessel and came ashore a little more than a month later in Nova Scotia
GLERL/U. MichiganMcCormick/Ruberg07 June 2013 Lake Huron1dispersion?doneWood Eddie 1st in Lake Huron, skirted south shore, and came ashore near Thompson's Harbor State Park on July 2nd.
Lawrence Middle School/Zephyr EducationReynolds12 June 2013 Nantucket Sound2experimentaldone1st drogued "Colin" and 2nd bamboo "Cassie" surface and drogue diverged! (photo by Celeste Cruse) Surface unit picked out of the water by a mariner, brought to Oak Bluffs Harbormaster, and then returned to Falmouth on a Patriot Boat. Sub-surface unit oscillated with the Vineyard Sound tide for days, got hung up in shallows outside Waquoit Bay for a few weeks and then, on July 12, let loose on after the thimble chaffed through the buoy metal. Finally, the buoy landed on Horseneck Beach on 15 July and saved by homeowner, Janet Donati.
Swampscott High Wilbur22 Jun 2013 Mass Bay 1educationaldonewood Eddie deployed by lobsterman Justin Mahoney from Nahant; picked out of the NE Channel (with broken spars) by Nova Scotian swordfisherman, Graydon Mood, who will send back the transmitter.
Gulf of Maine InstituteLockwood04 July 2013
28 July 2013
25 Oct 2013
Digby, NS
Barrington, NS
Barrington, NS
educationaldonewood Eddiesone deployed by Todd Sowers, whale watch boat captain from Digby, NS, traveled deep into Bay of Fundy, died month later; one deployed at shelfedge, died 3-weeks later; one deployed by Fisherman, Gradon Wood out of Lower Woods Harbor, that died, for whatever reason, about a week into its travel.
MITSBrumsted10 July 2013 Buzzards Bay 1demodoneBamboo Cassie deployed by OceanQuest; washed ashore and recovered from Grey Lane Beach the next morning
U.Michigan/GLERL/PurdueMcCormick/Ruberg/Troy14 July 2013 Lake Michigan6dispersiondone3 Eddies and 3 Eddys headed southeast, along the coast, by Chicago, up north, and then went ashore on the eastern beach on about 9 Novemeber.
Institute of Florida StudiesNordquist19 July 2013 Tampa Bay6educationdone most ashore within a week
Massasoit Community CollegeMcFadden 23 July 2013 Cape Cod Bay 1educationaldonewood Eddiedeployed off Plymouth, MA (Photos courtesy of the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance and Capt. John Whale Watching Boats) and died in Mid-Atlantic Bight
Watson/Goldstein 7 Aug 2013
12 Aug 2013
19 Aug 2013
06 Sep 2013
Great Bay 2
buckets1) both ashore with a day or two
2) one failed to give good fixes and the other ashore in a few days
3) one went up river and the other only gave one fix a few hours after deployment
4) deployed at mouth of river and went all the way up into the bay in single tide
UCONNWhitney/Jia21 Aug 2013 Long Island Sound6river inputdonebamboo Cassies one picked up by mariner, one landed on Fishers Island, one failed leaving the sound, one failed mid-shelf, one went to Block Island, and one went off Delaware
SEA/Harvard/PatriotBoatsZettler/Tietje25 & 31 Aug 2013 Nantucket Sound3instrument testsdoneboth bamboo and aluminum surface drifters & one leaf-bag-drogue (Erik Zettler pics) deployed by undergrad students; the bamboo surface unit exited the sound north of Nantucket and then died on Norteast Channel on November 1st; the aluminum surface drifter went silent on 10 September, recovered by Chatham's Harbormaster Stuart Smith, and picked up by Miles Manning; the 12m drogue (25 Aug) dragged bottom on Tuckernuck Shoals until Dick Limeburner recovered it in mid-October
UMASS-SMAST/WBNERRBrown/Smith06 Sep 2013 SNE Shelf2IOOS demodone7m and 12m drogues & several student-built mini-drifters these drogued drifters and student-built mini-drifters were deployed off R/V Mytilus along with UMASS gliders. The drogue at 7-meters passed through Quick's Hole into Vineyard Sound, got hung up in shallows near Menemsha on 18-21 Sep, hungup again on Middle Ground until Dennis McGillicuddy recovered it from his Whaler on 23 Oct.. The other drogue at 12m went southwest until it stopped transmitting on November 1st near the Hudson Shelf valley. Some of the mini-drifters were found on the beach a few days later by various Martha's Vineyard dogs like Genevieve Snyder's Labradoodle, Gail Gothard's lab "Hitch", and Jay Durst's golden retrievers "Harry and Jesse".
U.Michigan/GLERLMcCormick/Ruberg/Anderson06 Sep 2013 Lake Erie3dispersiondone3 Eddies one died a few weeks into its travel and the other two came ashore in early Oct on the Northern Shore
UNHSalisbury10 Sep 2013 Gulf of Mexico2acidifcationdone2 instrumented droguescouple short deployments
RutgersKohut/Glenn12 Sep 2013 NJ Shelf1IOOS demodone2by4 Eddie mast assembled by IMS oceanography class and deployed; went silent on 22 September as it approached Long Island
New England Science and SailingHorrigan16 Sep 2013 SNE Shelf 1educationaldonebamboo Cassie deployed mid-shelf by scallopers out of Stonington, Ct, Joe and Bill Bomster; died mid-Nov
Truro Central and Brewster Family SchoolKlimkosky/O'Leary/Skayne20 Sep 2013 East of Cape Cod 2educationaldoneTCS's wood Eddie and Brewster Family School's bamboo Cassie deployed by fishermen from Truro, MA; TCS unit quit on 23 Nov while BFS unit got into the Gulf Stream and died our near the Grand Banks in late January 2014
Scotish Gov'tHughes3 & 12 Oct 2013 Scotland9HF Radardone4x4 mast Several failures, for whatever reason, within the first week. Only two survived more than a few weeks.
Massasoit Community CollegeMcFadden 26 Oct 2013 Cape Cod Bay 1educationaldonebamboo Cassiedeployed off Plymouth, MA by whale watch boat; died in early Decmeber off the shelf
SMCCLong/Tarbox31 Oct 2013
07 Nov 2013
Casco Bay 2educationaldonewood Eddie First headed northeastward and washed up near Harpswell, ME 37 hours later
Second was retained near Cashes Ledge for weeks, finally headed to Georges Bank, and then landed just north of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on Feb 12, 2014 and reported by homeowner Mr. John Watkins a few months later in pretty good shape with one sail missing.
Educational PassagesBaldwin08 Nov 2013 North Atlantic9educational underwayboats under sailtwo deployed off N. Carolina by Joe Robillard
two shipped to the Canaries,
and five to be deployed by New England offshore Lobstermen Todd Ellis, Bob Colbert, and Bro Cote
Endicott/MA-DMFStauffer04 Nov 2013 Boston Harbor 3eel grassdonebucketsOne got hungup on outer "Green Island" for the first day, broke loose, and headed north to land in Magnolia,MA mid-day 7 Nov. The other two traveled quickly in and out of the harbor and landed on the south shore of Winthrop on the morning of 6 Nov.
Nauset High/Mass AudubonBell/MacManus/Prescott02 and 15 Nov 2013 Cape Cod Bay4turtlesdone"Woody" the turtle and 3 Irina surface drifters 3 (including Woody) recovered by Bob Prescott and one by Eastham DNR
Nauset High/Mass AudubonBell/MacManus/Prescott22 Nov Cape Cod Bay2turtlesdone"Woody" the turtle and a Irina surface drifter Woody recovered by Eastham DNR, surface drifter recovered from sanctuary shores
NOAA/PIFSC/TAMAR/UCFMansfield7 Dec 2013 off Brazil2turtlesdonebuckets? one apparently failed on deployment, the other documented quick advection south along the coast and then died on 28 December.
Scotish Gov'tHughes11 Dec 2013 Scotland8HF Radarunderway4x4 mast headed NNE, eastern-most 3 apparently ashore on Shetland Islands late December, and the others and ...
UCONNDierssen6 Jan 2014 Florida Keys3seaweed driftdonebuckets All three escaped to the ocean side in the first day or two and then recovered off shore of Sugarloaf Key on 10 January.
UCONNDierssen11 Jan 2014 Florida Keys3seaweed driftdonebuckets All three came ashore on the west coast of Long Key late in the day Jan 15th.
UCONNDierssen17 Jan 2014 Florida Keys2seaweed driftdonebuckets All two escaped to the ocean side in the first day or two and then recovered off shore of Long Key on 19 January.
Cantebury School/USFCummingsMar 2014 Florida Shelf1educationplannedIrina surface drifter

Note: Most units are prepared by marine science students. 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 subsurface drogues typically centered at 10m-15m below the surface. For details, call 508-495-2211 or email james.manning@noaa.gov.