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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Understanding
and Predicting
the Gulf of Mexico
Loop Current

Critical Gaps and Recommendations

Committee on Advancing Understanding of
Gulf of Mexico Loop Current Dynamics

Gulf Research Program

A Consensus Study Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by the Gulf Research Program Fund. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-46220-4
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-46220-7
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24823

Additional copies of this publication are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24823.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
×

Image

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
×

COMMITTEE ON ADVANCING UNDERSTANDING OF GULF OF MEXICO LOOP CURRENT DYNAMICS

PAUL G. GAFFNEY II (Chair), Monmouth University

SHUYI S. CHEN, University of Washington

STEVEN F. DiMARCO, Texas A&M University

SCOTT GLENN, Rutgers University

RUOYING HE, North Carolina State University

JOSEPH KUEHL, University of Delaware

ROBERT LEBEN, Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research

PIERRE F. J. LERMUSIAUX, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

RUTH L. PERRY, Shell Exploration & Production Company

DANIEL L. RUDNICK, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

NEHA SHARMA, Horizon Marine, Inc.

D. RANDOLPH WATTS, University of Rhode Island

ROBERT H. WEISBERG, University of South Florida

DANA R. YOERGER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Study Staff

KELLY OSKVIG, Program Officer

TERI THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
×

GULF RESEARCH PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD

JERRY M. MELILLO (Chair), Marine Biology Laboratory

PORFIRIO ÁLVAREZ-TORRES, Consortium of Marine Research Institutions of the Gulf of Mexico

KIM A. ANDERSON, Oregon State University

KENNETH E. ARNOLD, K. Arnold Consulting and Worley Parsons

ELLIOT L. ATLAS, University of Miami

PATRICK BARNES, BFA Environmental

J. FORD BRETT, Petroskills, Inc.

ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

ELIZABETH (TERRY) FONTHAM, Louisiana State University

KATHERINE H. FREEMAN, The Pennsylvania State University

PAUL G. GAFFNEY II, Monmouth University (Emeritus)

WILLIAM “MONTY” GRAHAM, University of Southern Mississippi

SARA J. GRAVES, University of Alabama

MYRON P. GUTMANN, University of Colorado

SUSAN HANSON, Clark University

ANTHONY H. KNAP, Texas A&M University

MICHAEL MACRANDER, Shell International B.V. (Retired)

WILLIAM S. MARRAS, The Ohio State University

JEAN MAY-BRETT, Louisiana Department of Education (Retired)

KATHRYN MORAN, Ocean Networks Canada

ALONZO L. POUGH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

LIESEL A. RITCHIE, University of Colorado

JONATHAN SAMET, University of Southern California

RICHARD SEARS, Stanford University

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
×

Reviewers

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

PAT HOGAN, Naval Research Laboratory

ALEXIS LUGO-FERNÁNDEZ, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

JAMES J. RILEY, University of Washington

NAN D. WALKER, Louisiana State University

CARL WUNSCH, Harvard University

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by DAVID M. KARL, University of Hawaii. He was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
×
Page R8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
×
Page R9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24823.
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One of the most significant, energetic, yet not well understood, oceanographic features in the Americas is the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current System (LCS), consisting of the Loop Current (LC) and the Loop Current Eddies (LCEs) it sheds. Understanding the dynamics of the LCS is fundamental to understanding the Gulf of Mexico’s full oceanographic system, and vice versa. Hurricane intensity, offshore safety, harmful algal blooms, oil spill response, the entire Gulf food chain, shallow water nutrient supply, the fishing industry, tourism, and the Gulf Coast economy are all affected by the position, strength, and structure of the LC and associated eddies.

This report recommends a strategy for addressing the key gaps in general understanding of LCS processes, in order to instigate a significant improvement in predicting LC/LCE position, evolving structure, extent, and speed, which will increase overall understanding of Gulf of Mexico circulation and to promote safe oil and gas operations and disaster response in the Gulf of Mexico. This strategy includes advice on how to design a long-term observational campaign and complementary data assimilation and numerical modeling efforts.

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