Introduction

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The Lagrangian Analysis and Prediction of Coastal and Ocean Dynamics (LAPCOD) group is an informal group of international researchers with similar research interests in the use and understanding of Lagrangian measurements of ocean and coastal currents with free drifting surface buoys and subsurface floats. Many of the instruments also measure other ocean variables such as temperature, pressure and bio-optical properties as they drift. The group involves researchers in the Meteorology and Physical Oceanography (MPO), Applied Marine Physics (AMP) and Marine Biology and Fisheries (MBF) Divisions at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami and researchers at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA/AOML). The activities range from data collection and analysis to theoretical investigations. The group is a major contributor to the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE)/ Global Climate Change (GCC) Surface Velocity Program (SVP) and ARGO. These projects, funded by NSF/NOAA/ONR, are involved with the deployment of approximately 1,000 surface drifters and profiling floats on a 500 X 500 km grid. Data from this effort and various auxiliary historical data for physical and biological applications are available at the NOAA/AOML SVP data center (www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/dac/dacdata.html). Subsurface floats are currently in use to study the Deep Western Boundary Current in the Atlantic. New instrument packages and performance validation efforts are also underway with NSF, ONR and U.S. Coast Guard support.

Theoretical studies include basic formulation of Lagrangian kinematics and dynamics and the optimization of Lagrangian information for predicting float trajectories and for understanding mixing and larvae dispersal in the ocean and its marginal seas. The latter work has been extended to include a suite of structured population models formulated in a lagrangian frame. The group also works with the Miami Modeling group to simulate Lagrangian trajectories in numerical models of various oceanic flows.

The group does not have a formal structure. Interaction between researchers in the past few years has been based on individual and group collaborations, occasional structured meetings and special topic courses.