5.2 The CONsortium for Oil Spill Exposure Pathways in COastal River-dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE) --- Year One Activities and Results

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 10:30 AM
Room 342 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
William Graham, University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Center, MS; and A. Shiller, J. Wiggert, F. Hernandez, S. Howden, K. Martin, R. Vandermeulen, J. Kastler, R. Arnone, P. Fitzpatrick, J. Davis, Y. Lau, A. Boyette, I. Church, C. Culpepper, A. Evans, A. Mojzis, S. Muffelman, L. Quas, J. Book, G. Jacobs, B. Cowen, B. Dzwonkowski, E. Hofmann, T. Miles, J. N. Moum, O. Schofield, and S. Warner

CONCORDE is the CONsortium for oil spill exposure pathways in COastal River-Dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE). It is one of 12 research consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to conduct scientific studies of the impacts of oil, dispersed oil and dispersant on the Gulf's ecosystem and public health during 2015-17. CONCORDE is led by the the Department of Marine Science of the University of Southern Mississippi located at Stennis Space Center and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs with seven research partners: Mississippi State University, Rutgers University, Oregon State University, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Old Dominion University, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

The primary CONCORDE emphasis is on near-shore waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico and how rivers influence the transport, fate and toxicity of oil as it interacts with coastal waters and biology. Deepwater Horizon revealed many surprises including formation of deep plumes and impacts to wetlands. One of the major missing linkages is how oil interacted with the nearshore environment around the large river inputs of the north central Gulf. CONCORDE will expressly address how complex fine-scale structure and processes in coastal waters dominated by pulsed-river plumes control the exposure, impacts, and ecosystem recovery from offshore spills like the Deepwater Horizon release of 2010. CONCORDE also includes an Education and Outreach component.

Two field campaigns are planned during the project utilizing R/V Pelican, the Point Sur, and smaller "day" boats. A 2015 field campaign will occur Oct. 24- Nov. 7 for the Point Sur, and Nov. 1-7 for the Pelican, during the low river period. A followup 2016 mission will occur during the high-flow river conditions for Mar. 28-April 10 (Pelican), and March 29-April 12 (Point Sur).

The seminar will summarize Year 1 CONCORDE activities and preliminary results from the first campaign. We will also discuss the dexterity of a 1-km version of the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM) at portraying high-resolution features near coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. NCOM's ability to capture river plumes, hypoxia events, and other features will be compared against campaign observations, as well as an ocean color product that uses a sharpened visible water-leaving radiance spectrum for the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

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