Surfzone Coastal Oil Pathways Experiment
As part of the Gulf Of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), a group of researchers within CARTHE executed a nearshore field experiment to describe the cross-shore exchange of material between the inner shelf and the surf zone. How do oil and other toxins move from the Gulf of Mexico onto the beaches of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas?
Dr. Ad Reniers at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) and Dr. Jamie MacMahan at the Naval Postgraduate School were the lead scientists conducting this experiment in December 2013, at John Beasley Park, Okaloosa Island, FL.
30+ scientists were involved in this 3 week long experiment, using 200+ custom-made, GPS-equipped surface drifters, dye, helicopters, drones, balloon/kites, jetskis, small boats, ADCPs, CTDs, and much more. The goal was to get as much accurate data of nearshore wave and current movements as possible so they could then enter it into computer models to make accurate ocean current predictions in the future.
Our friends at Waterlust created an award winning video, “Drones at the Beach,” explaining how drones were used to measure the spread of the dye along the coast.
The CARTHE outreach team has charged nearly 200 high school students with designing and building the next great drifters! To learn more about this program or to get involved, please visit our Outreach Page.
To learn more the execution of this enormous experiment, please visit the SCOPE category of the CARTHE Blog.