Woods Hole Group

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Gulf of Mexico Loop Current Eddies

Eddy Name Size Year Comments (last updated 03/23/2022)
Wilde II Small 01/22 - present Eddy Wilde’s circulation elongated and developed a distinct southwestern lobe during the second half of January 2022. Interaction with a cyclonic eddy to the south of the feature caused recirculation to develop in the southwestern lobe at the end of January, with Eddy Wilde II separating from Wilde’s main circulation on 28 January 2022. The feature is presently impacting currents in the western lease areas.
Wilde Medium 09/21 - present Eddy Wilde briefly separated as a large eddy on 06 September 2021. The feature quickly reattached to the Loop Current and lingered for several weeks over active sites in the central lease areas. Wilde briefly separated from the LC in early November before reattaching to the LC again. Wilde exhibited a final separation from the LC at the end of November, with much of its circulation lingering over the central lease areas through the end of 2021 and into 2022.
Verne Large 08/21 - 12/21 Eddy Verne separated from the Loop Current on 13 August 2021. The feature’s large circulation lingered over the northern and central lease blocks for a few days before being reabsorbed by the LC. A smaller lobe began to develop on the western portion of the feature in the beginning of September. Verne separated as a small elliptical eddy in the western lease areas on 05 September 2021. The eddy progressed westward to southwestward for a few weeks before shifting south of the U.S. lease areas by the end of September. The eddy lingered in the western GOM until it dissipated on 20 December 2021.
Ursa Large 03/21 - 06/21 Eddy Ursa separated from the Loop Current on 07 March 2021 as a large elliptical eddy. The feature reconnected with the LC a couple times before separating as a small eddy in the northern Gulf at the end of May. It remained close to the LC and developed another connection with the feature during the second week of June as the feature pulled the eddy toward the east. Ursa lingered for a few days along the LC’s northern front before dissipating into the background circulation on 25 June 2021.
Thor Large 01/20 - 09/20 Eddy Thor separated from the Loop Current on 26 January 2020 and lingered just northwest of the LC for several weeks. Its circulation rapidly shrank in size as a strong frontal CE drew energy from its eastern lobe. A connection developed between Thor and the LC in March 2020 but a full reabsorption of the eddy was not observed. Once this connection dissipated in April 2020, Thor migrated gradually westward to west-southwestward, retreating south of the U.S. lease areas in May 2020. The feature migrated toward the southwestern portion of the GOM, where it lingered for several months before dissipating.
Sverdrup Large 07/19 - 01/20

Eddy Sverdrup separated from the Loop Current in early July 2019. The feature maintained its large shape as it rotated clockwise and exhibited a slow but steady southwestward migration. Sverdrup exited US lease areas at the end of October 2019. Around this time, its small northeastern lobe separated into a smaller circulation called Sverdrup Jr. The primary eddy continued to migrate southwestward to the coast of Mexico over the coming months. Sverdrup and Sverdrup Jr. dissipated in mid-January 2020 in the southwestern Gulf.

Revelle Huge 04/18 - 02/19 Eddy Revelle first separated from the Loop Current on April 25, 2018; however, this separation was short-lived with the eddy reattaching in less than a week. The eddy did not detach again until the last week of June, maintaining a very large structure. The eddy continued to interact with the Loop over the next several weeks. Revelle’s final separation from the Loop occurred at the end of August, when the eddy’s initial structure was very elongated. The feature quickly consolidated in size as it began slowly migrating westward to southwestward. The eddy briefly impacted active sites in WR before progressing southwestward and dissipating in February 2019.
Quantum Large 11/17-11/18 Eddy Quantum first separated from the Loop Current on November 12, 2017 and split in two in late November. The southern of the two eddies (Quantum II) remained well the south of all active sites in GOM and gradually disintegrated over the following 4 months. Quantum I reattached to the Loop Current several times following its initial detachment, with its latest separation in May 2018. The eddy began gradually migrating toward the west and southwest. By October 2018, Quantum I was south of the lease areas in the western Gulf before dissipating entirely in November 2018.
Poseidon Huge 04/16 – 04/17 Although the eddy first separated in November 2015, this separation was short-lived and the eddy was reabsorbed entirely into the Loop Current within weeks. The eddy redeveloped and separated from the Loop in mid-April 2016, moving away from the parent feature by the end of the month. Poseidon gradually migrated westward and southwestward over the next several months, briefly impacting operations in WR, GC, and AC. The eddy finally dissipated in April 2017 in the western Gulf.
Olympus Huge 06/15 - 06/16 Reconnected to LC in early July 2015. As a part of the main Loop Current flow, the feature migrated far north into Mississippi Canyon before separating again in August 2015. Another reconnection was observed in end of September 2015. Olympus separated for the final time from the Loop in October 2015. Brief interaction of the eddy with Eddy Poseidon was observed in November 2015. The eddy formed a secondary circulation in the following month that separated from the main feature. Both the eddies continued to migrate to the west and southwest in the next few months before dissipating entirely in western Gulf in early June 2016.
Nautilus II Large 05/15 - 12/15 Formed from an extension to Eddy Nautilus’ circulation and split off toward end of May 2015. Dissipated into a west-northwestward flow. Reconnected with Nautilus in mid June 2015 and regained its strength and closed circulation. Split again from Nautilus in late June 2015 . Dissipated in the western Gulf through end of December 2015 into early January 2016.
Nautilus Huge 05/15 - 11/15 Briefly reattached to LC in May 2015. Formed into an elongated feature with two distinct closed circulations. Split off Eddy Nautilus II toward end of May 2015. Reconnected with Nautilus II in mid June 2015 and split again in late June 2015 . Maintains a weak circulation in the western Gulf.
Michael Large 01/15 - 07/15 Reattached to LC in February 2015 and separated again in March 2015. Gradually migrated westward across the lease areas . Dissipated in the northwestern Gulf in July 2015.
Lazarus Small 07/14 - 07/15 Reattached to LC in August and separated again in November. Gradually migrated to the west-southwest, moving south of the western lease areas by March 2015. Dissipated in the southwestern Gulf in May 2015.
Kraken Medium 04/13-10/14

Steadily migrated southwestward and slowly dissipated in the southwestern Gulf.

Jumbo Huge 06/12-02/13 Temporarily split into two separate eddies before re-joining. Became part of a large anticyclonic circulation in southwestern Gulf toward the end of its lifetime.
Icarus Large 11/11-02/13 Reconnected to the Loop Current several times and, as a result, had a more southward migration pattern than typically observed. Became part of a large anticyclonic circulation in southwestern Gulf toward the end of its lifetime.
Hadal Huge 08/11-03/12 Split in two, dissipated in the southwestern Gulf
Galileo Small 06/11-01/12 Merged with Hadal in the western Gulf
Franklin Large 05/10-10/11 Dissipated in the southwestern Gulf
Ekman Huge 07/09-03/11 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Darwin Large 12/08-11/09 Dissipated in the southwestern Gulf
Cameron Large 07/08-05/09 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Brazos Large 03/08-09/08 Dissipated in the northwestern Gulf
Albert Large 11/07-05/08 Split in two, northern half dissipated
Zorro Large 04/07-08/07 Reattached 4 times, absorbed by the Loop
Yankee Huge 07/06-01/08 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Xtreme Large 03/06-09/06 Separated 3 weeks after Walker; briefly reattached; dissipated in the western Gulf
Walker Small 09/05-05/06 Second most westerly extension of Loop water; dissipated in the western Gulf
Vortex Huge 02/05-03/06 Separated & reattached 4 times; lingered in central Gulf for 7 months; dissipated in the western Gulf
U2 Small 01/05-09/05 Pinched off ne edge of Eddy Ulysses; later merged again with Ulysses
Ulysses Huge 05/04-09/05 Reattached once; lingered in central Gulf for several months; dissipated in the western Gulf
Titanic Large 10/03-10/04 Remained south of active lease areas; dissipated in the western Gulf
Sargassum Huge 05/03-12/03 Lingered in central Gulf for over 4 months; dissipated in the eastern Sigsbee Deep
Rebel Small 03/02-04/02 Formed in eastern Gulf from LC outflow; dissipated in the eastern Gulf
QE-2 Small 05/02-10/02 Shed from northern front of Quick Eddy; migrated briefly to the east; dissipated in the central Gulf
Quick Huge 03/02-04/03 Separated quickly after Pelagic; shed QE-2; dissipated in the western Gulf
Pelagic Huge 12/01-05/02 Most westerly extension of Loop water; absorbed Nansen & Odessa; dissipated in the western Gulf
Odessa Medium 09/01-12/01 Briefly attached to Nansen; reattached late November; reabsorbed by Pelagic/Loop
Nansen Medium 04/01-12/01 Merged with Odessa late November; reabsorbed by Pelagic/Loop
Millennium Huge 02/01-11/01 Reattached to Loop after 1 week; merged with warm eddy in the western Gulf; dissipated in western Gulf
Lazy Small 07/00-09/00 Weak eddy, dissipated in the north central Gulf
Kinetic Small 06/00-02/01 Dissipated or merged with other old eddies in the western Gulf
Juggernaut Huge 10/99-11/00 Dissipated in the southwestern Gulf
Indigo Small 08/99-12/99 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Haskell Small 07/99-08/99 Reabsorbed by Loop
Gyre Small 05/98-02/99 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Fourchon Large 02/98-08/98 Split; merged with El Dorado
El Dorado Medium 07/97-01/99 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Easy Small 01/97-03/97 Cold Core Eddy; dissipated east of DeSoto Canyon
Deviant Medium 12/96-08/97 Dissipated in the northwestern Gulf?
Creole Medium 08/96-06/97 Disappeared west of the Loop Current
Biloxi Medium 03/96-12/96 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Aggie Medium 09/95-07/96 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Zapp Large 03/95-10/95 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Yucatan Large 09/94-02/95 Merged with Whopper & Xtra in western Gulf
Xtra Medium 09/93-01/94 Merged with Whopper in the western Gulf
Whopper Large 06/93-11/93 Encountered shelf and moved north; merged with Xtra in western Gulf
Vagabond Medium 11/92-03/93 Dissipated or reabsorbed by Loop Current in north central Gulf
Unchained Large 05/92-04/93 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Triton Large 07/91-at least 04/92 Program hiatus 04/92-08/92
Steady Small 11/90-04/91 Reabsorbed by the Loop Current
Rogue Small 08/90-11/90 Spinoff from Quiet Eddy, reabsorbed briefly then dissipated in central Gulf
Quiet Big, 2 knots 07/90-12/90 Dissipated in the central Gulf
Phantom Small 11/89-12/89 Disappeared
Oggie Very small 06/89-07/89 Absorbed by Nelson Eddy
Nelson Strong, huge 02/89-12/90 Dissipated in the western Gulf
Murphy Big at start, small 04/88-04/89 Reappeared in November 1989
Eddy "L" Small 04/88-06/88 Dissipated in northwestern Gulf; reappeared in 10/88-11/88; program ended 11/88-02/89
Kathleen Small 01/88-09/88 Dissipated in western Gulf; Gilbert passed through
Little Jupiter Small 04/87-05/87 Reabsorbed by Loop Current; formed again 07/87; program ended 08/87-04/88
Instant Strong, big 08/86-06/87 Dissipated in northwestern Gulf
Hot Core Big 11/85-? Coalesced with Fast Eddy - program paused 08/86 through 05/87
Ghostly Medium 08/85-12/85 Dissipated in western Gulf after coalescing with Fast Eddy
Fast Strong, big 04/85-05/86 Merged with Hot Core Eddy
Elusive Small 01/85-04/85 Reattached to Loop Current
Dancing Small LC filament 12/84-2 weeks Reabsorbed by Loop Current
Closet Very small 11/84-12/84 Disappeared
Backward Small 09/84-02/85 Cold Core Eddy; slid under Elusive Eddy
Arnold Small 09/84-12/84 Reabsorbed by Loop Current

Eddy Kraken

Jumbo Eddy

Eddy Hadal

Eddy Ekman

Eddy Darwin

Eddy Zorro

Vortex Eddy

Eddy Ulysses

Eddy Sargassum

Pelagic Eddy

Nelson Eddy