Investigating the effect of oil spills
on the environment and public health.
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Funding Source: Year One Block Grant - The Alabama Marine Environmental Science Consortium

Project Overview

Wave and Surge Simulations for Spilled-Oil Redistribution By Gulf of Mexico Tropical Cyclones

Principal Investigator
Louisiana State University
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


It is well know that the Northern Gulf of Mexico is subject to frequent hurricane impacts. Recent hurricanes that devastated the north Gulf coast include Hurricanes Ivan (2004), Katrina (2005), Rita, (2005) and Gustav (2008). One of the critical questions is how the strong winds and waves generated by a tropical storm or hurricane will re-suspend the oil-induced contaminants from the sea floor, and transport and redistribute them to the coastal area, especially to many estuaries of national significance, such as Mobile Bay, Alabama.

To address this important question, we propose to carry out numerical simulations of waves and surges generated by tropical storms and hurricanes making landfall on the Alabama coast. The ultimate goal is to improve our understanding and capability of predicting the response of the oil-induced contaminants in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico to tropical storms.

This research was made possible by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.