Ocean Surface Drifters Released off the Oregon Coast
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Read the introduction to drifter tracking off the Oregon coast.
Take a look at the Seasonal Example Plots.
plot the drifter tracks for two drifters,
one released in
and one released in
Connect locations (longitude, latitude) once per week from the
daily drifter reports. Stop plotting the January 1998 drifter after August
14, 1998. Use a different color for each drifter. Answer the following:
- Why do you think the drifters go in the directions you've plotted?
- How far did each of the drifters go? Give your answer in kilometers and
miles. [Hints: 1 degree of latitude = 60' of latitude and 1' of latitude =
1.852 km so that 1 degree of latitude = 111 km. 1 km = 0.62 miles.]
- How long (in days) did it take each drifter to go this far?
- What was their average speed? Give your answer in both cm/s (centimeters
per second) and knots (nautical miles per hour). [Don't forget,
1 km = 100000 cm and there are 86400 seconds in a day.] [Hint:
1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour; 1 nautical mile = 185200 cm.]
- Why do you think these ocean currents might be important, especially
for ocean biology?
Last updated: May 3, 2001. Web coordinator: