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NRL models Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Date:3/18/2014

supports readiness

While Jolliff tested NRL's operational capability against the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, he could make similar forecasts for a spill anywhere in the world. "What's very powerful about COAMPS," he says, "is we can take models that are much larger in scale, and we can zoom in to these local areas."

Going forward, he'll focus on integrating more cross-interacting variables directly into COAMPS to give naval operators a more accurate and complete forecast. "In any complicated system," he says, "you're going to have various feedbacks. The ocean and the atmosphere are constantly exchanging energy." By bringing the tracer directly into COAMPS, instead of using BioCast to perform transport calculations separately from COAMPS, he could see if materials in the ocean impact air-sea interactions.

He and NRL colleague Dr. Travis Smith are researching the biological, chemical, and physical properties of key tracers. "As you go out to longer and longer time scales, you have to bring more and more of inherent reactivity of these materials into your calculations: things like phytoplankton growth, settling of particles." Incorporating these properties, similar to what he did with the decay constant for oil, improves forecasts of ocean optics.

"The tools we've developed here at NRL are state of the art, without question," he says.


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Contact: Kyra Wiens
kyra.wiens@nrl.navy.mil
202-404-3324
Naval Research Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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