Accession Number : ADA182967

Title :   Arctic Drifting Buoy Data 1979 - 1985.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : COAST GUARD RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER GROTON CT

Personal Author(s) : St Martin,Joseph W

PDF Url : ADA182967

Report Date : Apr 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 126

Abstract : As part of an investigation into the fate of potential Arctic oil spills, the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development and Canadian Marine Drilling, Ltd. (CANMAR) released satellite-tracked drifting buoys at two sites in the southern Beaufort Sea during six years (1979-1983, 1985). The sites were near Canadian offshore drilling locations off the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, Northwest Territories and near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. An analysis of the trajectories of these buoys indicated that the majority of buoy drift was in an alongshore (east/west) direction. When buoys did move in a north/south direction, their speeds were generally lower and the length of excursions shorter. A comparison of the drift of these buoys to the calculated geostrophic wind (east/west component only) revealed that, over a long term, the buoys drifted, on average, with the mean wind. Buoys had average drift speeds which varied from 1% to 5.5% of the mean wind. When cumulative drift was compared to the cumulative wind, high correlations were noted for those buoys with spar type hulls. This indicates that the cumulative large-scale geostrophic wind plays an important role in the cumulative movement of the upper 1-2 meter of the water column. A comparison of the trajectories of buoys which were released in close spacial and time proximity was conducted. In general, their drifts were variable enough to indicate that the total forcing function on separate buoys was different. (Author)

Descriptors :   *BUOYS, *GEOSTROPHIC WIND, *DRIFT, *SATELLITE TRACKING SYSTEMS, ALASKA, SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION, TIME, COMPARISON, VELOCITY, CANADA, COAST GUARD RESEARCH, WIND, EAST(DIRECTION), WEST(DIRECTION), MEAN, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, SPACE BUOYS, HULLS(STRUCTURES), SPARS, WATER, CORRELATION, NORTH(DIRECTION), SOUTH(DIRECTION), ARCTIC REGIONS, OIL SPILLS, BEAUFORT SEA, TRAJECTORIES

Subject Categories : Marine Engineering
      Meteorology
      Target Direction, Range and Position Finding

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE