Pollution release tied to invariant manifolds: A case study for the coast of Florida

Francois Lekien, Chad Coulliette, Arthur J. Mariano, Edward H. Ryan, Lynn K. Shay, George Haller, Jerry Marsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


High-resolution ocean velocity data has become readily available since the introduction of very high frequency (VHF) radar technology. The vast amount of data generated so far, however, remains largely unused in environmental prediction. In this paper, we use VHF data of the Florida coastline to locate Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) hidden in ocean surface currents. Such structures govern the spread of organic contaminants and passive drifters that stay confined to the ocean surface. We use the Lagrangian structures in a real-time pollution release scheme that reduces the effect of industrial contamination on the coastal environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005


  • Finite-time Lyapunov exponents
  • Lagrangian coherent structures
  • Pollution control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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