ROFFS™ – schaudt.us OCEANOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS
FOR THE PGS Seismic Monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico
We were able to see the ocean conditions in this area clearly today and we have used a combination of high resolution sst° imagery from the past 12 hours, as well as, ocean color_chlorophyll imagery from the past 24 hours to complete today’s analysis. We have shown the seismic study work site in pink, the observed direction of surface currents from the high resolution sst° imagery in blue, sea surface temperatures in black with white highlights, and water mass boundary zones in black. Arrows showing the direction of flow of the surface currents in blue indicate current direction only. There is no association between arrow length and current speed with the blue arrows.
Due to the extreme clarity of the imagery today, we were able to confirm the location of the counter-clockwise eddy which we have been following for some time now which appears to be centered near 93°45’W & 26°45-47’N. Although this feature appears to be moving away from the study area, it does appear as if the majority of the water masses west of approximately 92°20’W continue to move in a north/northwestward direction over the western portion of the study area and towards this eddy. While this feature continues to move west with a slight southwestward motion, we did observe two other counter-clockwise rotating eddy features located south/southwest of the study area near 92°45’W & 26°10’N and 93°45’W & 25°48-50’N respectively. It remains to be seen what effect (if any) that these features will have on the study area as they interact with the eddy located west of the study area and the clockwise rotating eddy (centered near 92°00’W & 26°45’N) which appears to be effecting the eastern portion of the study area and pulling relatively warmer (78.7°F-79.6°F) water in a north/northeastward direction towards its center of circulation.
Northeast of the study area, we had observed another counter-clockwise rotating eddy feature in both the high resolution sst° imagery and the ADCP data on Monday. We have confirmed the presence of this feature over the past 24-48 hours and it appears to be centered near 91°47’W & 27°12’N today. This feature appears to be drawing some of the relatively warmer (80.8°F-79.6°F) water drifting southwestward towards it in a west/southwestward direction and circulating it around its center. Eastward, we observed two more large eddy features – one associated with the Loop Current (centered near 88°42’W & 26°40’N) and one not associated with the Loop Current (centered near 90°40’W & 27°01-02’N). Both of these features are rotating in a counter-clockwise direction and the non-Loop Current eddy may begin to affect the study area over the next two to four weeks or so if it continues to drift west at its current rate (2-3 miles per day). The main body of the Loop Current (81.5°F-81.9°F) continues to occur well east of the study area (approximately 200-220 miles) and is not likely to have any influence on the study area.
This analysis is updated Mon/Wed/Fri. We will continue to monitor these conditions daily and report any immediate change in circulation that will affect the work site.