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Improve Coastal Ocean Models


NOAA operates and maintains 3-D high-resolution hydrodynamic models that provide oceanographic circulation and water quality information for the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters. These models provide short-term forecast guidance of water levels, currents, temperature, and salinity. A critical and persistent performance issue for these systems is the ability to accurately forecast salinity and temperature, specifically vertical stratification and the thermocline.

The state of the science is such that hydrodynamic models can forecast water levels and currents to a high degree of accuracy sufficient for commercial applications, such as decision support and environmental forecasting tools for mariners. These tools enable mariners to optimally time their transits into and out of ports while also maximizing their loads. Salinity and temperature, however, remain underperforming parameters, especially when applied to decision support tools for other types of decision-making such as fisheries management (San Francisco Bay), water intake (Delaware River) and public health (Chesapeake Bay). 


Proposed technologies in this subtopic might include ones that develop innovative hydrodynamic modeling solutions using the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) or Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) capable of forecasting salinity with an accuracy of at least 3 psu and ideally 1 psu in U.S. coastal waters, and temperature with accuracy of at least 3 degrees and ideally 1 degree Fahrenheit.





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