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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) Project

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The USGS and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) were awarded funding by NOPP, supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to plan the development of a coastal sediment-transport model (CSTM) supported, in part, as a NOPP "node". We envisioned a wide and collaborative effort among interested scientists, engineers, modellers, and model users to refine one (or more) of the existing sediment-transport models for use as a test platform. We were funded specifically to broaden the ongoing discussion on building a model and to identify and build partnerships for model development and model testing.


Our ability to predict the transport and long-term fate of particles in the ocean is essential in addressing a variety of issues related to commerce, defense, and the quality of the marine environment. For example, remediation of contaminated sediments, siting of sewage outfalls, evaluation of past and future disposal sites, burial of mines or archeological artifacts, transport and fate of biological particles, and evaluation of the impacts of coastal development all require an understanding of the transport and fate of sediment under varying hydrodynamic, physical, and biological conditions. Numerical models can provide a framework within which to synthesize our understanding of sediment transport processes in complex systems. They are also useful as a test bed for emerging sediment-transport algorithms, and to provide realistic settings for biological and geochemical models. To fully realize the power of numerical modeling in coastal environments, sediment transport models need to be linked directly to hydrodynamic circulation models. Although researchers from academia and private industry are actively pursuing this goal, there is no community sediment transport model for the coastal oceanographic environment. Developing a publicly available, well-tested, and widely accepted model would greatly benefit the ocean research and management communities, and the nation.

Project Goals

The ongoing discussion on building a CSTM model (Sherwood and others, 2000) is continued and broadened to identify partnerships in sediment transport modeling, to establish a structure for evaluation of sediment transport models, and to evaluate new and existing models. This project is a team effort with academic, industry, and government participants. It augments ongoing partnership efforts initiated by the USGS last year and includes significant cost sharing by the partners. The long-term goal is to promote the development of a node in the "commons for ocean information" that would offer sediment transport models and modeling capabilities. Sooner, rather than later, the intent is to freely distribute one or more models for predicting the transport and long-term fate of sediments in the coastal ocean that can be easily incorporated into the growing capability for hydrodynamic modeling. In addition to model code, model support infrastructure (such as documentation, test cases, and software for managing model input and output) will be provided to the entire scientific community.

List of Tasks

  1. Establish a conceptual framework for sediment-transport model development
  2. Enhance and maintain community model web site.
  3. Sponsor special session and Town Meeting at AGU/ASLO Ocean Sciences Meeting.
  4. Host planning workshop to write NOPP proposal for fiscal year 2003.


Principal Investigators:

Chris Sherwood (csherwood@usgs.gov), USGS
Rocky Geyer (rgeyer@whoi.edu), WHOI

Partnering Investigators:

Hernan Arango (arango@imcs.rutgers.edu), Rutgers University
Alan Blumberg (ablumberg@stevesn_tech.edu), Stevens Institute.
Brad Butman (bbutman@usgs.gov), USGS
Scott M. Glenn (glenn@imcs.rutgers.edu), Rutgers University
Thomas F. Gross (tom.gross@noaa.gov), NOAA
John Hamrick (ham@visi.net), TetraTech, Inc.
Courtney K. Harris (ckharris@vims.edu), Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Parmeshwar L. Shrestha (pshrestha@exponent.com), HydroQual, Inc.
Richard P. Signell (signell@usgs.gov), USGS

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This page last modified on Monday, 05-Dec-2016 16:31:19 EST