Observations and Modeling to Advance a Louisiana Coastal Circulation and Oil Spill Prediction System

The BP Gulf Research Initiative is a collaboration between faculty and staff of LSU's School of the Coast and Environment, LSU Center for Computation and Technology (CCT) and the Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis (NRL) tasked with enhancing the state of Louisiana's ability to observe and model near-coastal circulation along the Louisiana coast for use within the state's broader oil spill prediction system. The project is comprised of four main components:

  1. Simulation modeling  will couple Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Module (FVCOM) bay modules to an enhanced FVCOM shelf module with offshore conditions provided by NRL's operational Intra-Americas Sea Nowcast/Forecast System for analysis of oil dispersion hind-casting.
  2. Wave-Current-Surge Information System (WAVCIS) information with be leveraged for validating component 1. WAVCIS is a real-time regional coastal observation system that operates six shelf stations to measure winds, waves, currents, temperature and salinity.
  3. The Earth Scan Laboratory (ESL) will provide surface oil areal estimates for validation of component 1. ESL capabilities were enhanced in 2014 to receive and process VIIRS measurements in near real-time.
  4. Provide integrated visualization capability for viewing, analyzing, and communicating results from model simulations and model-data integration intended for use by coastal resource managers and decision makers.

See the ESL image and oil contour archive in support of this project here