Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
GOMEX 3-D Operational Ocean Forecast System Pilot Project
Portland State University
Chevron, BP America, Princeton University, North Carolina State University, University of California at Los Angeles, Naval Research Laboratory, Naval Oceanographic Office, National Ocean Service, National Weather Service, Texas A&M University
The project aims to conduct the applied R&D necessary to demonstrate, evaluate, and establish an operational forecast system for ocean currents in the Gulf of Mexico. Such an operational forecast system is comprised of a numerical ocean circulation modeling subsystem, an ocean (satellite and in situ) observing subsystem with real-time components, and a data assimilation subsystem for initializing the forecasts. The project will be conducted in two phases. For the first phase (with a duration of 18 months), several state-of-the-science, eddy-admitting baroclinic ocean circulation numerical models will participate in a series of forecast experiments for assessment of their skill relative to standard metrics that are applications-based. For the second phase (with a duration of 12 months), one or more of these models will be advanced as a pilot operational forecasting system in a real-time demonstration. The forecasting systems will be provided by Princeton University, North Carolina State University, University of California at Los Angeles, Naval Research Laboratory, Naval Oceanographic Office, National Ocean Service, and National Weather Service. For skill assessment, they will be joined by Texas A&M University and Portland State University. CASE-EJIP, Chevron, and BP America are providing the requisite “cost share” funding. A Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) has been formed to (1) review the plans, progress, and prospects of the project; (2) build a broad consensus on the skill of the forecast systems; and (3) recommend a Concept-of-Operations (CONOPS), which defines stakeholders, user requirements, roles and responsibilities, etc. for transitioning the pilot forecasting system to sustained operations. The key deliverables will be (1) manuscripts documenting the skill assessment of the forecasting systems, (2) the pilot operational forecasting system, including a Website with real-time products, and (3) a recommended CONOPS. The operational forecasting system will provide information that can be used to guide marine operations that are affected by transient currents throughout the water column associated with the Loop Current, the eddies it sheds, and the passage of wintertime cold fronts and summertime tropical cyclones. Such current forecasts will also have collateral benefits for marine emergency managers, environmental managers, and ecological managers.
Principal Investigator(s): Christopher N. K. Mooers, Portland State University (PI); Dr. Cort Cooper, Chevron and Mr. David Driver, BP America (Co-PIs)
Final Project Report [PDF-6.56MB]