Drifter Test of a Preliminary Version of the Trajectory Model

On September 23, 1997 14:15 UTC two surface drifters were released in lower Tampa Bay on an outgoing tide. They were tracked by boat, and GPS measurements were taken to record their positions through the next six hours (until 20:15 UTC). In the above figure, the drifters are shown by the black lines. At the end of the test, the drifters were 241 m apart. The estimated error in drifter position is less than 100 m.

Output from the trajectory model is shown by the colored lines. The model was seeded with 100 "drifters." At the end of the simulation, the mean distance between the mean final position of the two drifters and the mean final position of the simulated drifters was 939 m. The final mean distance of the simulated drifters from the center point defined by their final mean latitude and final mean longitude was 111 m with a standard deviation of 75 m.


Initial position of the two drifters: 27.75 degrees north and -82.58 degrees west
Final position of the two drifters: 27.69 degrees north and -82.59 degrees west

Creator and tester of the two surface drifters,
Dave Burwell, standing with one of the drifters.

Back to the Oil Spill page




[PORTS at USF]--[OMPL]--[Tampa Bay Sites]--[Guestbook]