Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Collaborations to Improve Hurricane Forecasting and Environmental Monitoring In the Gulf of Mexico

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Marine Science


Ocean Science and Engineering


Shell Exploration and Production Company is working with academic, non-profit, and federal stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico to develop and implement long term environmental monitoring programs. One such program uses autonomous underwater gliders to provide near real-time oceanographic data to improve the understanding of the offshore physical environment and to improve estimates of upper ocean heat content for enhanced hurricane prediction and forecast models. Established in 2008, through a Memorandum of Agreement between Shell and NOAA, this partnership leverages the strengths of each collaborator to build a comprehensive and sustainable data collection system for providing real-time high resolution and baseline data to better assess environmental conditions and assure the environmental sustainability of Shell's activities in the Gulf of Mexico. An important element of the collaboration includes sharing data and results with the broader Gulf of Mexico stakeholder community. In this paper, we present the program framework, data and findings from three years of data collection (2012 - 2014), and identify future opportunities to leverage autonomous underwater gliders to improve understanding of the Gulf of Mexico offshore environment.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the Annual Offshore Technology Conference



First Page


Last Page