Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

3-D models of BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico made using ranger supercomputer

Date:
June 14, 2010
Source:
The University of Texas at Austin
Summary:
Researchers are using the Ranger supercomputer to produce 3-D simulations of the impact of BP's massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill on coastal areas.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) are using the Ranger supercomputer to produce 3-D simulations of the impact of BP's massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill on coastal areas.

With an emergency allocation of one million computing hours from the National Science Foundation TeraGrid project, the researchers are running high resolution models of the Louisiana coast to track the oil spill through the complex marshes, wetlands and channels in the area.

The researchers include Clint Dawson, professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics and head of the Computational Hydraulics Group at the university's Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences; Rick Luettich, professor of marine sciences and head of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; and Joannes Westerink, professor of civil engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

Dawson said he and his colleagues have access to highly accurate descriptions of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas coastlines due to earlier hurricane storm surge research.

"What our model can do that a lot of the other models can't do is track the oil spill up into the marshes and wetlands, because we have fine-scale resolution in those areas," he said.

This kind of detail will help the scientists determine how the oil may spread in environmentally sensitive areas. The team's 2-D and 3-D coastal models also will take into account the Gulf of Mexico waves, which may bring the oil closer to the Texas coast.

Of chief concern is the possibility that a hurricane moving through the gulf may bring the oil inland. The team hopes to be able to provide support for disaster responders who may need to make emergency management decisions based on the computer models.

The primary reason for using Ranger is the massive scale of the data involved in this type of modeling and simulation. The researchers receive satellite imagery of the spill from the university's Center for Space Research and download meteorological data from the National Centers for Environmental Protection every six hours. They combine these data into a 72-hour forecast at 50-meter resolution, which is 10 to 20 times more detailed than many other models being run on the spill.

TACC Director Jay Boisseau said this is one of many emergency response efforts for which TACC has provided computational power.

"Ranger gives us the ability to support an immense amount of computational research while reacting quickly to urgent needs such as hurricane predictions, swine flu outbreak scenarios and this oil spill," Boisseau said.

For each model run, the Advanced Circulation Model for Oceanic, Coastal and Estuarine Waters simulation uses 4,096 cores on Ranger for three hours. The group has been performing between one and four simulations each day.

Gordon Wells, program manager for real-time satellite remote sensing at the Center for Space Research, is a technology adviser for state emergency management efforts. He said he is optimistic that the 3-D models will show how the oil spill interacts with underwater vegetation and provide a more accurate forecast of the environmental impact the spill will have in the coming months.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The University of Texas at Austin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The University of Texas at Austin. "3-D models of BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico made using ranger supercomputer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603155723.htm>.
The University of Texas at Austin. (2010, June 14). 3-D models of BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico made using ranger supercomputer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603155723.htm
The University of Texas at Austin. "3-D models of BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico made using ranger supercomputer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603155723.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Driving Sports (July 24, 2014) Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana face off against a global contingent of racers at the annual Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire. Includes exclusive in-car footage from Higgins' record attempt. Video provided by Driving Sports
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) A likely tornado tears through an eastern Virginia campground, killing three and injuring at least 20. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins