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Project Title:

Advancing Understanding of Gulf of Mexico Loop Current Dynamics
PIN: GULF-GULFEO-16-02        

Major Unit:

Division on Earth and Life Studies
Gulf Research Program of the NAS-NAE-IOM-NRC

Sub Unit: Gulf Research Program of the NAS-NAE-IOM-NRC, Executive Office
Ocean Studies Board

RSO: Oskvig, Kelly

Subject/Focus Area: Earth Sciences; Engineering and Technology; Environment and Environmental Studies; International Issues; Math, Chemistry and Physics

Project Scope
An ad hoc committee will develop recommendations to design a suite of activities-- including research, observations, and analyses-- needed to characterize Loop Current dynamics and improve the effectiveness of modeling efforts.  The study committee will:
Summarize the existing scientific understanding of the physical forces that shape and energize the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current and associated eddies as well as the current state of ocean current modeling specific to the Gulf of Mexico.

Determine what critical information is needed to better understand the variability in strength, location, depth, and size of the Loop Current (i.e., research priorities).  Specify the measurements needed to improve models and forecasts that are useful for facilitating safe oil and gas operations and effective response activities.

Assess the capacity of current technologies to meet the overarching goal of characterizing the Loop Current dynamics and suggest opportunities for new approaches, improved technologies, or transfer of technologies from other realms.

Design a field campaign, identifying the key research questions and the necessary research, observations, and analyses that would supply the information needed to improve understanding of Loop Current variability and current modeling and forecasting. This should include consideration of how to phase the suite of activities, estimated costs, advice on organizational framework, and a rough implementation timeline.

Identify needs and opportunities for collaboration and joint sponsorship and recommend ways to increase interaction among public, private, and academic sectors, including approaches for improved international collaboration in Gulf of Mexico oceanography.

Project Duration: 12 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 02/13/2017
 Meeting 2 - 03/23/2017
 Meeting 3 - 05/18/2017
 Meeting 4 - 08/01/2017


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