Connectivity of Pulley Ridge With Remote Locations as Inferred From Satellite-Tracked Drifter Trajectories

M. J. Olascoaga, P. Miron, C. Paris, P. Pérez-Brunius, R. Pérez-Portela, R. H. Smith, A. Vaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Using historical (1994–2017) satellite-tracked surface drifter trajectory data, we conduct a probabilistic Lagrangian circulation study which sheds light on the connectivity of Pulley Ridge with other locations in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent areas. The analysis reveals that Pulley Ridge is connected with the North Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea, and most of the Gulf of Mexico. Preferred connecting pathways are identified and arrival times to potential reef sites computed. The study demonstrates the importance of Pulley Ridge as a source for neighboring regions like the Dry Tortugasa, the Florida Keys, Campeche Bank, and the east Florida coast as well as a self-recruitment area for species with short competence time. The study further suggests that the reefs in the Caribbean Sea, the Dry Tortugas, the western Florida Keys, and the West Florida Shelf can act as sources for Pulley Ridge, indicating the importance of Pulley Ridge as a central refugium for species in the Gulf of Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5742-5750
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Pulley Ridge
  • drifters database
  • oceanographic connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Oceanography


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