Acting within 24 hours of receiving a request from researchers, the National Science Foundation late last week made an emergency allocation of 1 million compute hours on a supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas to study how the oil spreading from BP’s gusher will affect coastlines.
The goal is to produce models that can forecast how the oil may spread in environmentally sensitive areas by showing in detail what happens when oil interacts with marshes, vegetation and currents.
What may be just as important are models that simulate what could happen if a hurricane carried the oil miles inland, said researchers in interviews.
This is the best use of the government’s scientific funds on this horrible disaster yet. Looking forward to images from and analyses of the model runs.