Document Type


Publication Date



Gulf of Mexico, Lagrangian, chlorophyll, SeaWiFS, connectivity, eddies

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


A Lagrangian analysis of the transport and dispersal of plumes observed in satellite‐derived ocean color images was conducted using a data‐assimilating model of the Gulf of Mexico. The interaction between pervasive cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies in the Gulf generated advective paths that connect remote shelf regions. These paths aligned remarkably well with the plume events recorded with the chlorophyll‐a ocean color product from SeaWiFS. Two such events were studied. In one event material was transported in a thin strip between the northern wall of the Loop Current and an adjacent cyclone, connecting the eastern Campheche shelf (off the Yucatan Peninsula) and South Florida shelves. The other event began off the Louisiana shelf break as a small plume traced by chlorophyll and then developed into a long and thin feature which meandered to the shelf break off the northern Yucatan Peninsula, moving between a large anticyclone and several adjacent cyclones. These results indicate that inter‐eddy advection plays a crucial role in developing the ocean color patterns observed in the satellite ocean color data.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, v. 108, issue C4, art. 3105

Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.