Mississippi River and Campeche Bank (Gulf of Mexico) episodes of cross-shelf export of coastal waters observed with satellites

Daniel B. Otis, Matthieu Le Hénaff, Vassiliki H Kourafalou, Lucas McEachron, Frank E. Muller-Karger

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

3 Scopus citations


The cross-shelf advection of coastal waters into the deep Gulf ofMexico is important for the transport of nutrients or potential pollutants. Twenty years of ocean color satellite imagery document such cross-shelf transport events via three export pathways in the Gulf ofMexico: from the Campeche Bank toward the central Gulf, from the Campeche Bank toward the Florida Straits, and from the Mississippi Delta to the Florida Straits. A catalog of these events was created based on the visual examination of 7280 daily satellite images. Water transport from the Campeche Bank to the central Gulf occurred frequently and with no seasonal pattern. Transport from Campeche Bank to the Florida Straits occurred episodically, when the Loop Current was retracted. Four such episodes were identified, between about December and June, in 2002, 2009, 2016, and 2017, each lasting ~3 months. Movement of Mississippi River water to the Florida Straits was more frequent and showed near seasonal occurrence, when the Loop Current was extended, while the Mississippi River discharge seems to play only a secondary role. Eight such episodes were identified-in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2014, and 2015-each lasting ~3 months during summer. The 2015 episode lasted 5 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number723
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Cross-shelf export
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Loop Current
  • Satellite remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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