Gliders in the Gulf Stream

The overarching goal of this project is to collect high resolution transects across the Gulf Stream. Missions begin in Miami, FL and end near the New England continental shelf with gliders traveling across the Gulf Stream current as they are advected downstream. Prior to 2015, gliders sampled primarily between Cape Cod and Bermuda.

During a typical 100-day mission between Miami and Cape Cod, a single glider completes 6-10 crossings of the Gulf Stream, and returns about 800 vertical profiles to 1000-m depth. The current operational goal is to maintain at least one glider in the Gulf Stream at all times.


Temperature, Salinity, Chlorophyll Fluorescence, Doppler Velocity, Acoustic Backscatter, Depth-Averaged Velocity

  • Region: Western North Atlantic
  • PI: Robert Todd, Breck Owens [WHOI]
  • Funded by: National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, NOAA's Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing Program (GOMO), Eastman, WHOI

Project Dataset Files

Cleaned, post-processed and vertically binned to meet user needs

Access Options

Data are available in CF compliant NetCDF files and are also available via our ERDDAP server which offers additional file types, data subsetting, visualization options and more.

Gulf Stream


Project Dataset Processing

  • Averaged to 10-m vertical bins
  • Bins improve ease of use
  • Bins allow for easy integration of ADCP acoustic backscatter and velocity data
  • Filtered using QC flags
  • Only high-quality data are represented in each bin

How to Cite

When using this dataset, please cite the data as:

Todd, R., & Owens, B. (2016). Gliders in the Gulf Stream [Data set]. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Instrument Development Group. doi: 10.21238/S8SPRAY2675


Todd, R. E., A.S. Ren (2023), Warming and lateral shift of the Gulf Stream from in situ observations since 2001. Nature Climate Change.
Mao, S., R. He, J. Bane, G. Gawarkiewicz, R.E. Todd (2023), A data-assimilative modeling investigation of Gulf Stream variability, Deep-Sea Res. Part II, 211, 105319, doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2023.105319.
Todd, R.E. (2021), Gulf Stream mean and eddy kinetic energy: Three-dimensional estimates from underwater glider observations, Geophys. Res. Lett.., 48(6), e2020GL090281; doi: 10.1029/2020GL090281
Heiderich, J., R.E. Todd (2020), Along-stream evolution of Gulf Stream volume transport, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 50(8), 2251-2270; doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-19-0303.1
McWilliams, J. C., Gula, J., & Molemaker, M. J. (2019). The Gulf Stream North Wall: Ageostrophic Circulation and Frontogenesis. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 49(4), 893-916.; doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-18-0203.1
Gula, J., T.M. Blacic, R.E. Todd (2019), Submesoscale coherent vortices in the Gulf Stream, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 2704-2714; doi: 10.1029/2019GL081919
Todd, R. E., Asher, T. G., Heiderich, J., Bane, J. M., & Luettich, R. A. (2018). Transient response of the Gulf Stream to multiple hurricanes in 2017. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 10,509–10,519; doi: 10.1029/2018GL079180
Todd, R.E. and L. Locke-Wynn (2017), Underwater glider observations and the representation of western boundary currents in numerical models, Oceanography, 30(2), 88-89; doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2017.225
Todd, R.E. (2017), High-frequency internal waves and thick bottom mixed layers observed by gliders in the Gulf Stream, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44(12), 6316-6325; doi: 10.1002/2017GL072580
Todd, R. E., Rudnick, D. L., Sherman, J. T., Owens, W. B., & George, L. (2017). Absolute velocity estimates from autonomous underwater gliders equipped with Doppler current profilers. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 34(2), 309-333; doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-16-0156.1
Todd, R. E., Owens, W. B., & Rudnick, D. L. (2016). Potential vorticity structure in the North Atlantic western boundary current from underwater glider observations. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 46(1), 327-348; doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-15-0112.1