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.

Related Articles


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 January 27, 2015 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 January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) — Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Newsy (Jan. 27, 2015) — The Food and Agriculture Organization says millions could face famine in Madagascar without more funding to finish locust eradication efforts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Slams New England, Spares Mid-Atlantic

Storm Slams New England, Spares Mid-Atlantic

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) — A howling blizzard with wind gusts over 70 mph heaped snow on Boston along with other stretches of lower New England and Long Island on Tuesday, but failed to live up to the hype in Philadelphia and New York City. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mexico's Volcano of Fire Erupts Again

Mexico's Volcano of Fire Erupts Again

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) — A huge plume of smoke shoots into the air as activity in Mexico&apos;s Volcano of Fire picks up again. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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