The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) developed an organization called the National Ocean Service. The National Ocean Service hosts a department that is called the Office of Response and Restoration. Within the Office of Response and Restoration lives the General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME). GNOME is an oil spill trajectory model.
The National Ocean Service states that “NOS delivers the tools and services needed to understand, predict, and respond to the challenges we face along America’s 95,000 miles of shoreline and 3.5 million square miles of coastal, Great Lakes, and deep-ocean waters.”
GNOME is available to the public who can use the GNOME Wizard to input data, then watch a “movie” that shows the predicted trajectory of an oil spill in a particular area. The GNOME program even provides prepackaged location files with tide and current data for a particular area that can be input into the model. There is also a weathering package and a chemical “what if” analysis worksheet.
GNOME has the ADIOS2 oil weathering package. This software contains data about the chemical composition of over a thousand oils and oil products. This data describes the characteristics and expected behavior of a particular oil mass when exposed to the atmosphere. There is also dispersant data. Combined, this data generally looks at water content, density and viscosity of the oil and incorporates it into the model’s trajectory predictions.
There is a Chemical Reactivity Worksheet (CRW), where various chemical identities can be entered into the GNOME model to see if there are reactions or effects.
Individuals can bypass the GNOME wizard and create their own saved files by entering certain data. They can play and watch the resulting films from the wizard or saved files as they go backward and forward.
GNOME can be downloaded to the Windows or the Mac environments, or there is a “diagnostic mode” where what if analysis can be done. A full service site, the GNOME site provides help, answers to frequently asked questions, a view of models that have been run, and a user’s guide and tour of the GNOME process.
In summary, GNOME will serve as a valuable resource to students and scientists, as well as anyone who has concerns about spilled oil and dispersant in their waterways. There are resources for students and teachers as well as for the interested public, making the NOAA and the GNOME sites worth a visit!
The National Ocean Service