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This document sets up a joint working group among NOAA, EPA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to analyze an evolving database of sub-surface oceanographic data being derived from the coordinated sampling efforts of vessels contracted for or owned by BP, NOAA and academic scientists.

Goals of the Joint Analysis Group

I. Provide most comprehensive (to-date) characterization of the Sub-surface and transport to inform...

  • The Unified Command for informational needs related to the response
  • The modeling teams
  • The responders/mission planning for tactical decisions

II. Develop a consistent set of data standards and an electronic database from which the analytical team can draw information on depth, salinity, temperature, oxygen, fluorescence and oil concentration data, as well as other oceanographic parameters. It will interface with the Response Deep Water Monitoring Branch at the IC.

III. Develop data visualization products and analyses that characterize...

  • The distribution of sampling carried out to date including both stations made good and proposed stations in ongoing sampling
  • The distribution, in three dimensions, of especially oil, oxygen and oil/dispersants at depth in relation to the well head
  • Summary products that define average readings and likely distributions of oil, dispersants and impacts upon which to plan additional sampling missions

IV. Work on an ongoing basis to provide and inform the Unified Command and leadership of progress in plume mapping.

V. Three main actions in the near term -

  • Integrate the data spatially and temporally to allow their visualization and analysis
  • Analyze the data to describe the distribution of oil and the oceanographic processes affecting its transport
  • Issue periodic reports to the National Incident Command (NIC), the Unified Command, the public and other researchers that includes visualization, analysis, and synthesis products
    • Periodic reports will be critical in helping to -
      • Guide future actions by the response to mitigate the effects of oil being released from the well
      • Validate work to model the fate and transport of subsurface oil in the near field and far field
      • Plan future cruises monitoring the location and movement of subsurface oil Understanding the monitoring necessary to characterize the fate and effect of the oil

VI. The JAG will be a standing group within the NIC and will continue to produce reports and assist in interpretation of data as needed and as requested.