Regional Themes

The MARACOOS community, guided by targeted workshops and meetings, has identified its five high priority ocean observing themes: 

(1) Maritime Safety

(2) Ecological Decision Support

(3) Water Quality

(4) Coastal Inundation

(5) Offshore Energy

The ocean data collected and resulting ocean/atmospheric forecasts support the five themes as shown in the table below:

MARACOOS Capabilities Implementation Matrix

Theme 1. Maritime Safety Audiences:

  • NOAA NWS Weather Forecast Offices are able to improve weather forecasts, especially in severe weather; with coastal winds from Weatherflow’s regional mesonet delivered through AWIPS for model assimilation and verification
  • USCG personnel are using their Search And Rescue Optimal Planning System more effectively with MARACOOS coastal winds, HF Radar surface current maps, and statistical surface current forecasts delivered to the operational Environmental Data Server (EDS)
  • NOAA NWS Weather Forecast Offices are improving their Rip Current warnings for lifeguards through the use of MARACOOS nearshore waves and alongshore currents derived from the HF Radar network delivered via the World Wide Web
  • Ship Pilots require (1) water elevation and water depth, (2) winds & currents and (3) density from MARACOOS observations and models that can only be delivered through NOAA PORTS for liability reasons

Theme 2. Ecosystem Based Management Audiences:

  • NOAA Coast Watch
  • Commercial and Recreational Fishers are able to better plan using declouded Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Color delivered via the World Wide Web
  • Fisheries Scientists are able to establish new regional methodologies for Ecosystem Based Management with MARACOOS surface current & 13 temperature maps, and 3-D glider data delivered as Matlab data files for combined analyses with fish survey data
  • Ocean Forecasters are able to produce an ensemble of 3-D ocean nowcasts and forecasts by using MARACOOS 3-D temperature, salinity and current data for assimilation delivered via OPeNDAP from the MARACOOS server
  • Fisheries Scientists, Recreational and Commercial Fishers are able to more safely plan with access to MARACOOS derived products from the above ensemble of model forecasts such as maps of surface temperature, bottom temperature and thermocline depth via web based portals, Google Maps or Google Earth

Theme 3. Water Quality Audience:

  • NOAA HazMat oil spill response benefits from MARACOOS real-time surface current maps and statistical short-term current forecasts delivered through the NOAA Environmental Data Server
  • State Agency response to floatable sighting reports benefit from MARACOOS real time surface current maps and dynamical forecasts delivered via a web portal
  • County Agency personnel making decisions about beach closures and openings can benefit from MARACOOS real time surface current & temperature maps as well as dynamical forecasts delivered through a web portal
  • State Agency detection of low oxygen conditions can benefit from dissolved oxygen data from gliders and buoys

Theme 4. Coastal Inundation:

  • Estuarine inundation modelers are better able to set the initial condition for their forecast models through the use of MARACOOS surface and subsurface temperatures to improve estimates of upper ocean heat content; thickness of the wind-driven layer; and current/drifter data for assimilation, all delivered from the MARACOOS servers via OPeNDAP
  • Estuarine inundation modelers are better able to evaluate forecast sea level uncertainties using the full ensemble of atmospheric forcing products with realtime validation for each forecast storm delivered via the MARACOOS servers

Theme 5. Energy:

  • Electrical Power Companies can minimize response time to power grid damage with MARACOOS real-time severe weather warnings delivered through a website with forecasters on standby during storms
  • State Offshore Wind Regulators require estimates of the wind resource by month and by time of day derived from high-resolution sea-breeze resolving forecasts, delivered as maps, used as input to state GIS systems for wind farm siting
  • Offshore Wind Developers need local estimates of the wind resource and environmental conditions delivered as time series for historical analyses, permitting, construction and operations