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Autonomous Vehicles and Multi-Platform Coastal Ocean Observatory During Hurricane Harvey (2017)

October 04, 2018
3:00 am - 4:00 pm

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Dr. Steven F. DiMarco
Professor & Ocean Observing Team Lead
Dept. of Oceanography, Texas A&M University

Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport Texas as a Category 4 storm on 25 August 2017. The ocean observing network in the western Gulf of Mexico, comprised of the Texas Automated Buoy System (TABS), autonomous ocean vehicles, and shipboard observations reported oceanographic conditions throughout the summer of 2017. These include pre-storm conditions, direct storm impact, and post storm response of the coastal ocean. The storm brought an unprecedented amount of rainfall, more than19 trillion gallons of freshwater, to coastal Texas. As the freshwater moved from the terrestrial to the marine environment, the freshwater mass and the contaminants contained therein moved down-coast from Galveston and offshore threatening the environmental communities of the Flower Garden Banks and southern habitats and ecosystems near Padre Island, Texas. The freshwater plume affected water quality along the Texas coast as the plume stratified the shelf waters. Shipboard and autonomous vehicle (e.g., surface and buoyancy gliders) observations of the shelf waters show the vertical and horizontal spatial distribution of freshwater and heat content prior to and following the storm. The TABS network documents the onset and phasing of freshwater movement as the storm approached, made landfall near Rockport, re-entered the Gulf and made a second landfall near Cameron, LA.

About the presenter
Steven F DiMarco is a Professor in the Dept. of Oceanography and Ocean Observing Team Leader in the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group at Texas A&M University. Dr. DiMarco is an observational oceanographer whose research has focused on interdisciplinary studies in which physical and biogeochemical processes overlap. He is deeply involved in regional, national, and international programs implementing new technologies and methodologies associated with ocean observing systems and involved applied problems associated with societal concerns of human impact of the marine environment. The results of his research have been used to guide management policies and drive agency decision in the US and abroad. He is currently lead PI for the Texas Automated Buoy System, and Co-PI for the Texas High Frequency Coastal Radar Network, and lead for the TAMU Autonomous Ocean Vehicle Lab.

Contact Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina: zmedina@civil.tamu.edu


October 4, 2018
3:00 am - 4:00 pm


Eller O&M Bldg., Room 807