Posted: 8 January 2016

Initial Meeting of GCOOS Modeling Task Team
15 February 2013, Houston Intercontinental Airport

The initial meeting of the GCOOS modeling Task Team was held on 15 February 2013 at the Holiday Inn Hotel at Houston Intercontinental Airport. The provisional agenda is given in Appendix 1. Appendix 2 lists the attendees with their affiliations. As indicated, eleven persons were present and five others attended via the web and phone.

Introductory Remarks and Self-Introductions

Cort Cooper, the Task Team chair, opened the meeting with introductory remarks and by inviting all participants to provide self introductions.

  • Frank Aikman with NOAA National Ocean Service noted they have an operational physical model for the Gulf of Mexico and used to drive Physical Oceanography Real Time Systems. They have interest in coupling with ecosystem parameters.
  • Cort Cooper with Chevron is responsible for design parameters for their offshore structures. His principal interest is in Gulf circulation modeling. Cooper has been the prime mover in establishing the GCOOS Modeling Task Team.
  • Dale Crockett with Texas Water Development Board is in charge of operational physical models in five bays along the Texas Gulf Coast. They are operated in concert with Texas General Land office.
  • Shejun Fan with Fugro in Houston provides metocean criteria for oil/gas operators. They run oil spill model for the Gulf.
  • Sergei Frolov is with Horizon Marine. They have had an operational model of the Gulf running for ~6 years. Also they deploy approximately 20 surface drifters per month to track the movement of rings.
  • Rebecca Green with BOEM works with biophysical coupled models. Previously she worked with the Mississippi River plume. She is now interested in coupled biophysical models for the offshore Gulf with particular interest in oil spill impacts and risks.
  • Ruoying He with North Carolina State University is starting biological-physical modeling.
  • Pat Hogan with the Naval Research Laboratory heads large-scale modeling: basic to operational; regional to global. NRL has a group doing ecosystem and ocean color modeling.
  • Dubravko Justic with LSU is developing hypoxia models for the northern Gulf. He’s also modeling divergence of flow in rivers/estuaries, oil spill impacts in Barataria Bay, animal displacement and avoidance relative to hypoxia, and other environmental hazards.
  • Paul Montagna at TAMU-Corpus Christi does modeling of energy (for pollutants or salinity changes), of marshes as function of water elevation and salinity, and of biota as function of nutrients.
  • Steve Morey at FSU/COAPS carries out science applications of ocean models from Gulf to global applications.
  • Kyeong Park of University of South Alabama and DISL models the effects of water movement on the transport of sediments, larvae, etc. Interest is focused on small bays, and most simulations are of at least a year.
  • George Voulgaris at the University of South Carolina is interested in wind, river and wave- driven flows. He also examines hypoxia.
  • Matthew Howard with TAMU is the data manager for the GCOOS-RA.
  • Worth Nowlin is a member of the Board of Directors and treasurer for the GCOOS-RA.
  • Jerry Wiggert from the University of Southern Mississippi is engaged in physical-biological modeling. He is interested in cross-shelf transports perhaps using general circulation models.

Overview of GCOOS-RA

Nowlin presented an overview of the GCOOS-RA.

Review of Modeling Task Team Terms of Reference

Cooper reviewed the Terms of Reference:
“The Modeling Task Team is charged with providing on a regular basis to the GCOOS Staff, and through them to the Board of Directors, reports on the current state of modeling for the Gulf of Mexico and suggestions as to which model outputs should be served via the GCOOS Products Portal. In addition, the task team should formulate and recommend a plan for GCOOS Modeling.”

Then the Task Team’s members discussed and suggested the following potential additions to the Terms of Reference:

  • Organize stakeholder workshops, e.g., for ecosystem modelers;
  • Liaise with IOOS modeling steering group; and
  • Liaise with GoMexPPP. [Noted that the next GoMexPPP meeting is scheduled for May 8, 2013 in Houston.]

GCOOS Modeling Element

Cooper gave an overview of the GCOOS physical modeling element in the GCOOS Build-out Plan. A charge to the Task Team is to suggest revisions/improvements to both the physical modeling and the ecosystem modeling elements of the Build-out Plan.

Voulgaris suggested the need to define the meeting of a “well-validated model”. Cooper agreed this is a very good idea.

GoMexPPP Overview

Hogan gave a rather detailed overview of the current status and future plans for the GoMexPPP effort to develop an improved general circulation model for the Gulf of Mexico. Lively discussion ensued.

Ongoing Gulf Modeling Efforts – Presentations by Task Team Members

Aikman described an operational model for northern Gulf shelf from Florida panhandle to Mexico including five high resolution bays with forecast horizon of two days. NOS would like to incorporate hypoxia into the model. Current focus is on navigation and safety.

He described a nowcast/forecast system for ocean circulation, waves, weather and marine ecosystem sought for South Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Mexico with 84-hour forecast horizon. It would incorporate multiple models.

Justic is engaged in modeling hypoxia. Beginning with box models, he now has four coupled 3-D hydrographic-hypoxia models. Identified challenges are: effects on living resources, animal avoidance behavior, and effects of river discharges.

Morey described some modeling efforts supported as part of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative: Deep Sea Initiative, Geyser and Carthe. Many resulting models could be transitioned to quasi-operational status.

Park described a hydrodynamic model for Mobile Bay. The model is used for various practical purposes and this simulation of ship channels is critical. Wishes to extend to shelves of MS, AL, and FL panhandle.

Green noted some recent advances in oil spill modeling: (1) oil spill risk analysis dealing with (a) probability of a spill, (b) trajectory analysis, and (c) risk to environment; (2) catastrophic oil spill risk analysis, (3) relevant environmental studies; (4) blow-out models; and (5) remote sensing of oil transport and fate.

Revision of Physical Modeling Element of Build-out Plan

It was decided that revisions will be suggested by a small working group consisting of Cooper (lead), Morey, Hogan, Crockett, and Park. Possible additions are GoMexPPP, shallow water modeling and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative model efforts.

Planning for Ecosystem Workshop

The first GCOOS Ecosystem Workshop and other related meetings were mentioned and discussed, including ecosystem model meeting at the Northern Gulf Institute, carbon flux meetings, and hypoxia meetings.

Cooper reviewed draft plans for the GCOOS Ecosystem Modeling Workshop 2. He added another goal: “To identify possible funding mechanisms for pilot monitoring projects.”

The focus of the second workshop was decided to be “Use of coastal and ocean data in coastal ecosystem models.” A steering committee was appointed consisting of Montagna (lead), Morey, Justic, and Wiggert. They will suggest agenda, framework, attendees, venue, and date.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the GCOOS Modeling Task Team was set as a telecom on September 25, 2013 at 9:00 am Central Time.


The Task Team meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm.



Appendix 1

Initial Meeting of GCOOS Modeling Task Team
Provisional Agenda

Buffet Breakfast
Introductory remarks and self introductions (Cort Cooper, MTT Chair)
Overview of GCOOS (Worth Nowlin, GCOOS)
Review of MTT Terms of Reference (Cort Cooper)
Review of GCOOS Modeling Element (Cort Cooper)
GoMex PPP Overview (Pat Hogan)
Identify ongoing Gulf modeling (MTT members)
Obtain MTT input to GCOOS Model element of Build-out Plan
Review of GCOOS Ecosystem Modeling Workshop 1
Review draft plans for GCOOS Ecosystem Modeling Workshop 2
Discuss workshop 2 goals
Develop draft workshop 2 agenda
Identify likely workshop 2 attendees
Form steering committee for workshop 2
Identify other efforts for MTT
Set next meeting and adjourn



Appendix 2

Meeting Attendees

Name   Affiliation Focus Area
Frank Aikman P Chief Marine Modeling, NOAA-NOS Physical
Cort Cooper   Metocean consultant and Fellow, Chevron Physical
Dale Crockett   Hydrologist, Texas Water Development Board Coastal physical
Shejun Fan   Consultancy Manager, Fugro Physical
Sergei Frolov   Consultant, WeatherPredict Physical
Rebecca Green P Oceanographer, Office of Environment, BOEM Biological
Ruoying He P Prof, University of North Carolina Physical
Pat Hogan   Head, Open Ocean Prediction, Navy Research Lab Physical
Matt Howard   GCOOS-RA Data Manager Physical
Dubravko Justic   Prof., Louisiana State University Biological
Paul Montagna   Prof., TAMU Corpus Christi Biological
Steve Morey   Research Scientist, Florida State University Physical
Worth Nowlin   Prof, TAMU and GCOOS liaison to MTT Physical
Kyeong Park   Prof., University of South Alabama Coastal physical
George Voulgaris P Prof., University of South Carolina Coastal physical
Jerry Wiggert P Prof., University of Southern Mississippi Biological

P = participated via phone