Going with the Flow II: Using Drifters to Address Uncertainties in the Spatial Variation of Tidal Flows

Drifters are one of the oldest, simplest and most reliable methods for measuring ocean currents. Drifters also provide a simple, low risk platform from which to gather acoustic information along flow streamlines or ‘drift tracks’. This project builds upon previous drifter research, with the objective of reducing uncertainty in the spatial variation in flow speeds (including turbulence) within the Minas Passage (with focus on the FORCE site), Grand Passage, and Petit Passage. The project used:

  1. An ADCP drifter to evaluate flow characteristics along several drift tracks, including the vertical structure of velocity, turbulent dissipation rates, and surface vorticity; and
  2. Multiple surface flow drifters to map the flow-fields throughout the flood-ebb tidal cycle.

The project outcomes consist of site characterization information useful for advancing research and micro-siting tidal turbines for commercial developments.


Principal Investigator:  Greg Trowse, Luna Ocean Consulting Ltd.

October 2017 – June 2018