COASTMAP: An integrated monitoring and modeling system to support oil spill response

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Date of Original Version



One of the most difficult tasks in oil spill response modeling is to provide accurate estimates of the currents and winds during the spill event. This is typically done in an ad-hoc, subjective manner combining very limited field observations with simplified hydrodynamic and meteorological models. As an alternative an integrated environmental monitoring and modeling system, called COASTMAP, is presented. COASTMAP allows the user to collect, manipulate, display, and archive real-time environmental data through an embedded geographic information system and environmental data management tools; to perform simulations with a suite of environmental models (e.g. hydrodynamics, meteorological) in order to predict dynamics in the operational area and to assimilate real-time data into the models to allow hindcasting, nowcasting and forecasting. COASTMAP, operational on a personal computer, is controlled by mouse/keyboard through a series of menus and uses color graphics to present model predictions (plots, graphs, animations) and the results of data analyses. The software is designed using a shell based architecture making application to any geographic location simple and straightforward. In the present paper, COASTMAP is linked with OILMAP to provide a fully operational, real-time system that allows prediction of circulation, winds and oil spill trajectory and fate for estuarine and coastal sea areas. System performance is illustrated by the simulation of the trajectory of oil tracking buoys during two experiments performed in the lower west passage of Narragansett Bay. Simulation results using several forecast procedures, with/without real-time data, are presented. © 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Spill Science and Technology Bulletin