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USGS Responds to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Scenario Description

In order to provide updated information relevant to the oil spill response, we have selected a number of weather scenarios that are used as input to the inundation and overwash predictions. These scenarios are based on recent and forecast weather patterns, as well as some larger events that may be expected based on historical records. We have categorized these scenarios according to the Beaufort wind scale. The actual values of the input and predicted variables may differ at each analysis location due to changes in bathymetry and coastline orientation.

arrow from calm conditions to storm conditions

Calm Moderate Waves High Waves Tropical Storm Hurricane
Beaufort Scale 0-3 4-5 6-7 8-11 12
Wave Height (m) <1 1-3 3-5.5 5.5-14 >14
Wave Period Variable - values used are consistent with recent weather patterns or climatology
Wind Speed (m/sec) 0-5.4 5.5-10.7 10.8-17.1 17.2-32.6 >32.7
Wind Direction n/a onshore onshore onshore onshore
Tide Mean high water unless otherwise specified
Surge Specific to wind patterns and local bathymetry
Wave Runup Computed from wave height, wave period, and measured beach slope



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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, August 25, 2010