Operational Estuarine and Coastal Forecast Hydrodynamic Modeling and Development in the National Ocean Service


Sep. 2006


Aikman, F
Vincent, M
Gross, T

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American Geophysical Union


NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) is involved in the application of hydrodynamic models and the development of operational forecast systems in estuaries and the coastal ocean. These models and systems have applications in the support of safe and efficient navigation and emergency response, as well as marine geospatial and ecosystem applications. Nowcast/forecast systems developed in-house for the Chesapeake Bay, the Port of New York and New Jersey, and Galveston Bay are now operational. Models developed elsewhere have recently been transitioned to operational status for Lake Erie and Lake Michigan and for the St Johns River, FL. Forecast systems will be operationally implemented in the future for the remaining three Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, and Superior), for the Columbia River, Tampa Bay, Delaware Bay, as well as Cook Inlet, AK and elsewhere. Once tested, fully evaluated and deemed accurate by NOS standards, the nowcast/forecast systems are transitioned into the operational environment. The components of a real-time estuarine modeling system are discussed in terms of a standard Coastal Ocean Modeling Framework (COMF) which will increase the efficiency of research, development, transition and operations. The COMF includes the essential operational management of observations and forecasts of atmospheric, coastal and riverine inputs, as well as operational quality control and the dissemination of results. The COMF is intended to stimulate a community approach to coastal modeling, providing tools and protocols, and to abide by IOOS and ESMF standards. Some examples of ecological applications of hydrodynamic models are also discussed.




brackish water environment, coastal inlets, coastal zone, emergencies, estuaries, hydrodynamics, modeling