UMBC CHMPR Colloquium
Oil Spills and Search and Rescue:
Key Computational Challenges
Dr. C. J. Beegle-Krause
Environmental Research for Decision, Inc.
1:00pm 16 December 2011, ITE
Leveraging the research community into societal issues can help save lives and reduce environmental impacts from both natural and anthropogenic disasters. For example, Search and Rescue, oil Spills, and marine debris drift are decision support areas commonly solved with Eulerian-Lagrangian models. These models typically use wind and current fields derived from external circulation models. These problems share many similarities:
- Use of a “leeway” or “windage” to simulate drift on the water surface or atmospheric transport,
- Increased leveraging of larger scale physical ocean and atmospheric circulation models, and
- Predicting geolocation information with sufficient accuracy for detection (e.g. finding the person) or response (booming off the beach),
However, there are some distinct differences and each field has some case types with complexities that remain unanswered by the research community. This presentation will cover some key examples, such as:
- Mystery spills (reverse drift) – Where did oil come from?
- Surface collection areas (sensitivity of drift to surface circulation convergence and divergences and shoreline contact);
- Accuracy required for locating a target – small islands may be missing in implementation of numerical model; and
- Extensive drift problems – an overdue vessel may have crossed the domains of several small and large-Ã¢â‚¬Âscale models.
The 21st century vision of numerical modeling includes Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS, and application of chaos theory), Social Media (thanks to UMBC), further integration of numerical and geospatial data streams, and more real-Ã¢â‚¬Âtime information access through handheld computing.
Dr. C.J. Beegle-Krause is President of Environmental Research for Decision, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to three primary missions: transitioning peer reviewed research into Decision Support applications; Education; and Data Rescue. As founder of the nonprofit, she has a strong vision of the Next Generation Trajectory. Her background is in physical oceanography, specializing in modeling chemical transport. She is one of the original developers of the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) GNOME trajectory model, and spent five years of her career at NOAA as one of the U.S. lead trajectory forecasters, on-call 24×7 for events around the world. She was called back to NOAA OR&R for the Deepwater Horizon (MC252) oil spill and continues to work on aspects of that incident and future model development.