The Glider Implementation Plan for Hypoxia Monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico is available to inform the application of autonomous underwater vehicles for enhanced monitoring of hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The need for improved hypoxic zone monitoring has been repeatedly emphasized by the Interagency Gulf Hypoxia Task Force (HTF) to better characterize the spatial and temporal relationship to Mississippi River nutrient loading. The use of gliders as part of a broad Gulf hypoxia monitoring strategy to complement ongoing ship surveys and observing systems was first identified in the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Monitoring Implementation Plan and later included as a priority objective in the HTF Gulf Monitoring and Assessment Framework. The Glider implementation Plan is an output of the Gulf Hypoxia Glider Application Meeting, part of the 2013 Hypoxia Forum convened in April 2013 by the Northern Gulf Institute and several NOAA offices:

  • NOS – National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), Center  for Coastal Services (CSC);
  • NESDIS – National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC); and
  • NWS – National Data Buoy Center (NDBC).

The Plan is tiered according to available funds with three priorities: Priority 1 – four hypoxia glider cross-shelf transects that cover both east and west of the Mississippi River Delta, Priority 2 – expanded coverage spatially and temporally, and Priority 3 – sensors for determining the effects of hypoxia on living marine resources. It includes discussions of special accommodations needed for glider buoyancy control in the shallow high density gradient typifying the hypoxic zone area, the need for integration with existing and future glider plans such as the IOOS National Glider Network and Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Build Out Plan, and a data management system compatible with that developed in the IOOS National Glider Network.

For more information, please contact Alan Lewitus, alan.lewitus@noaa.gov.