Comparison of trajectories generated by the NOAA oil spill model to trajectories produced using HF radar-derived currents in Monterey Bay
Smith, Margaret A
Paduan, Jeffrey D.
Batteen, Mary L.
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HF radar-derived surface current data was examined for use in oil spill trajectory prediction in Monterey Bay. Trajectories produced by the NOAA/ HAZMAT On-Scene Spill Model, using different combinations of surface currents and winds, were compared to trajectories generated using HF radar-derived surface currents. Currents examined included Output from the NOAA circulation model and canonical-day averages of the HF radar-derived current maps, either as spatially constant but temporally varying currents (time file) or spatially varying two-hourly current patterns (grids). Results from OSSM using the NOAA circulation model currents did not compare favorably with HF radar-derived trajectories inside Monterey Bay. OSSM produced realistic overall trajectory patterns throughout the Bay using the canonical-day grid current files and, to a lesser degree, canonical-day time file currents. Both OSSM and HF radar-derived trajectories show sensitivity to release time. In the afternoon, trajectories display rapid southeastward flow. At night, currents are weaker. The week's worth of direct surface current data used in this study was found to be representative of the seasonal summertime pattern in Monterey Bay and provided realistic current patterns for use in OSSM for initial trajectory prediction in lieu of real time HF radar-derived surface currents
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