Drift Bottle Returns from the Caribbean
Abstract:Most of the water which enters the Gulf of Mexico and a good portion of the water flowing in the Gulf Stream along the eastern coast of North America must first pass through the Caribbean. As part of a study of the Caribbean current system, 1,632 drift bottles were released along 67°W between Puerto Rico and Venezuela on three cruises between June 1972 and March 1973. A total of 130 cards (8.0%) were returned. In general, the results confirm what is known of the general circulation pattern of Caribbean surface waters with some interesting exceptions. At times, very different destinations were reached by bottles dropped at the same time and place indicating divergent flow. The results also give rough estimates of the time required for surface-drifting pollutants to move through the Caribbean-Gulf system. The fastest recovery made from Florida was 80 days for an estimated distance of 3,700 km, indicating a mean speed of 54 cm/sec.
Document Type: Short Communication
Publication date: July 1, 1977
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