COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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Mathematics Colloquium: "Nearshore Sticky Waters"


4:10pm Neill 5W

Juan M. Restrepo

My team is developing a model for the fate of oil spills in nearshore environments. I will present an overview of the models key components and highlight how this model differs from a typical chemical transport model. The model is meant to overcome shortcomings of existing oil spill circulation models, all of which performed poorly in tracking the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast.

In the process of developing the model we have uncovered several phenomenological questions. I will present one of these: Wind- and current- driven flotsam, oil spills, pollutants, and nutrients, approaching the nearshore will frequently appear to park just beyond the break zone, where waves break. Moreover, the portion of these tracers that beach will do so only after a long time. In this environment we refer to the parking phenomenon as nearshore sticky waters, for which we offer a model when buoyant tracers are not subject to inertial effects. The solution to an asymptotic approximation to the model yields an explanation for the phenomenon and the conditions whereby it is expected to occur.

Please join us for refreshments at 3:30 p.m. in Neill 216, the Hacker Lounge.