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Executive Summary
Pages 1-6

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From page 1...
... Three panels were established, one of which, the Physical Oceanography Panel, investigated the physical oceanographic aspects of the ESP, the subject of this report, which is the first of three in a series. The panel based its report on several sources, including presentations from staff members of the Environmental Studies and Environmental Modeling Branches of MMS; briefings by other, independent scientists familiar with the work carried out in the different regions under the support of the Environmental Studies Branch; results of a workshop on numerical modeling held by the panel; and a review of the relevant scientific literature and documentation of MMS's planning and implementation processes leading to various lease sales.
From page 2...
... The OSRA model then calculates the probability of oil-spill occurrence for the selected launch sites using historical data, the number of "hits" (the number of times a spill encounters an environmental resource target or shoreline segment) , and the conditional probabilities of impact on the resource within a previously selected time.
From page 3...
... calculations done for the Atlantic region (including the OSRA calculation for the EIS for lease sale 96~. Another difficulty with the OSRA models is that the wind fields used in calculating spill trajectories for the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico regions have not been the same as the wind fields used to drive the circulation models.
From page 4...
... In general, the physical oceanography of all of the major continental margins is reasonably well known, especially from a basinwide, descriptive point of view. Evaluation of Regional Programs and Washington Office Programs In contrast to the regional offices' goals of data collection, analysis, and synthesis, the efforts of the WO have focused on supporting regional studies, addressing generic process and modeling issues, and summarizing or documenting previous studies.
From page 5...
... support continuing studies on relevant physical oceanographic and meteorological processes and features that are poorly understood, poorly parameterized in existing models, or poorly represented by existing modeling methodology. Improvements should continue to be incorporated into the OSRA model.
From page 6...
... e. Given the present level of understanding for most shelf regions of interest to the OCS leasing program, a carefully integrated program using field observations and numerical hydrodynamic modeling is suggested to provide a description of the circulation needed for input to the OSRA model.

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