Vol. 57 No. 2 (2018)

Single-particle statistics in the southern Gulf of Mexico

Luis Zavala Sansón
Departamento de Oceanografía Física CICESE
Julio Sheinbaum
Departamento de Oceanografía Física CICESE
Paula Pérez-Brunius
Departamento de Oceanografía Física CICESE

Published 2018-04-01


  • dispersion,
  • Gulf of Mexico,
  • surface drifters

How to Cite

Zavala Sansón, L., Sheinbaum, J., & Pérez-Brunius, P. (2018). Single-particle statistics in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Geofísica Internacional, 57(2). https://doi.org/10.22201/igeof.00167169p.2018.57.2.1693


We present single-particle statistics of a large data set of surface drifters released in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The study is focused on the probability density functions of velocities, Lagrangian scales and absolute dispersion estimates. The probability distributions display a non-Gaussian shape with extended tails. It is shown that the long tails are mainly associated with the Campeche gyre (an intense cyclonic circulation frequently formed in the region) and, to a lesser extent, with a flow along the western margin of the basin. The results are discussed in light of previous studies on ocean dispersion that have reported Gaussian and non-Gaussian distributions in other regions.


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