Download Data

Comma delimited data can be downloaded directly from our data repository, along with a Matlab script that converts the important fields to arrays in a .mat file.

Note: The Matlab script was updated Dec. 13, 2011, when salinity and some additional variables became available.



These are 2011 data. There are other pages for 2012 and 2013 drifter deployments


We deployed two ice-strengthened drifters equipped with Seabird microCATs in a large fjord system on the west coast of Greenland. This project is a collaboration between our school (the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UAF), the Geological Institute at UAF (Martin Truffer, Principal Investigator), and the Greenland Climate Research Center.

float in boat float in water


The drifters (manufactured by Pacific Gyre Inc.) are each equipped with Seabird MicroCAT temperature and salinity sensors at 3 depths - the surface, 7 m, and 15 m - to allow sampling of the upper-ocean stratification as well as circulation. A large drogue is below the deepest instrument, and the drifters have a high-accuracy GPS unit and "brain" in the surface sphere. Data is transmitted to us every 30 minutes via Iridium satellite. Instrument endurance is expected to be ~1 year, or longer if we recover them to replace the batteries.


The principal purpose of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of instrumenting heavily ice-covered fjords to obtain real-time data of the upper ocean. The project is more fully described in the Drifting Buoys project page.

Data Tools

Map of Drifter Tracks


Above: A Google Map of Greenland with the drifter tracks included. Green push-pins indicate the drifters' deployment locations, and the red dots are where they failed. Click on the icons for information about daily status and deployment objectives.

Sea Surface Temperature

Real-time displays of the Sea Surface Temperature recorded by both drifters.