GRI RESEARCH

Northern Gulf Institute (NGI)
The Northern Gulf Institute is a NOAA cooperative institute which was developed through research done by the GRI. Research efforts of MSU researchers and other academic partners focus on the Northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.





Advection of Karenia Brevis Blooms from the FL Panhandle towards the MS Bight and Sound
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis have been documented along coastal waters of every state bordering the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Some Gulf Coast locations, such as Florida and Texas, suffer from recurrent intense and spatially large blooms, while others such as Mississippi seem to rarely observe them. The main objective of this work is to understand the dynamics that led to the K. brevis bloom in Mississippi coastal waters in fall 2015. Blooms of K. brevis from the Florida Panhandle region are often advected westward towards the Mississippi-Alabama coast; however there is interannual variability in their presence and intensity in Mississippi coastal waters. The 2015 K. brevis bloom was compared to the 2007 Florida Panhandle K. brevis bloom, which showed a westward advection pattern, but did not intensify along the Mississippi coast. Cell counts and flow cytometry were obtained from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Alabama Department of Public Health, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and The University of Southern Mississippi. Ocean color satellite imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer onboard the Aqua satellite was used to detect and delineate the blooms in 2007 and 2015.
Abstract and Document Site





AmoebaNet- Testing Advanced Network Capabilities Using GeoFish and OceanNOMADS
This project supports the development of NOAA's NMFS/AFSC. It will use advanced networks to link two existing resources for modeling- the OceanNOMADS server and GeoFish and to test the use of a centralized data store with a local application for advanced modeling and interaction.
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Assessing the Impact of Ordinances, Outreach and Enforcement on the Resiliency of Gulf Coastal Watersheds
This study explores the link, if any exists, between ordinances and regulations and NGO's (non-governmental organization) compared to water quality. GIS is used to map the codes and regulations, NGO's and water quality spatially. This allows for data analysis that can reveal relationships between watershed regulation and water quality. The spatial data gathered in Year 1 will inform the development of focus group topics and questionnaires as the study continues.
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CONCORDE Meteorological Analysis (CMA) Data Guide
CONCORDE is the CONsortium for oil spill exposure pathways in COastal River-Dominated Ecosystems (CONCORDE), and is an interdisciplinary research program funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to conduct scientific studies of the impacts of oil, dispersed oil and dispersant on the Gulf
Abstract Document Oceanography Article Discuses CMA





Cost Effective BMPs for Resilient Communities
This project developed a tool that will enable the development industry to design and build more resilient and sustainable communities through the inclusion of BMPs (Best Management Practices) in new commercial and residential construction.
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Developing a Foundation for Analysis of Natural and Human-Induced Disturbances to Coastal Economies
This project focuses on the relationship between people and the ecosystems, resources, and hazards of the Gulf Coast. Because almost all human decisions are dependent on time, uncertainty (risk), cost, and expected benefits, this project can shed light on how the choices of coastal residents, businesses, and other entities are influenced by those characteristics unique to the coast. Furthermore, because economic analysis is always geared toward understanding the value of things and how these values influence decisions, this project will provide a wide range of cost and benefit estimates that can be utilized by decision-makers at all levels to make choices that improve the quality of life along the Northern Gulf Coast.
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Development of a Northern Gulf of Mexico Operational Forecast System
The NOAA National Ocean Service's Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems (PORTS) along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico will provide real-time oceanographic data to promote safe and efficient navigation. The Northern Gulf Institute, through Mississippi State University, will manage and coordinate this Operational Forecast System (OFS) University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth project activity in the development of a model to support the PORTS. A global or basin-scale model will provide boundary conditions to a proposed northern Gulf of Mexico Shelf domain model.
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Dissolved organic matter and trace element variability in a blackwater-fed bay following precipitation
Highlights Dissolved organic matter compositions were used for source-tracking trace metals. Flux of As, Cu, U, PO4, and NO3 correlated with protein-like and soil-derived DOM. The trace element and DOM mobility was controlled by precipitation and discharge. Multivariate statistics revealed anthropogenic sources for the trace metals. Abstract Dissolved organic matter (DOM) often forms complexes with trace metals. The main objective of this study was to identify the sources of trace elements to a coastal bay that is fed by two blackwater rivers using DOM compositions. Surface water samples from twelve sites in Weeks Bay, Alabama were collected during four field trips and a bottom sediment sample was collected during one of the trips. Spectroscopic measurements in tandem with parallel factor analysis and multivariate statistics were used to derive DOM compositions and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used for determining trace metal concentrations. DOM chemistry and trace element concentrations together with precipitation and discharge, watershed land use and land cover data, and physicochemical parameters were used to determine the source of trace elements in the adjoining areas of the watershed to the bay and finally settling into the bay sediments.
Science Direct





Dissolved Organic Matter and Trace Element Variability in a Blackwater-fed Bay Following Precipitation
Dissolved organic matter (DOM) often forms complexes with trace metals. The main objective of this study was to identify the sources of trace elements to a coastal bay that is fed by two blackwater rivers using DOM compositions. Surface water samples from twelve sites in Weeks Bay, Alabama were collected during four field trips and a bottom sediment sample was collected during one of the trips. Spectroscopic measurements in tandem with parallel factor analysis and multivariate statistics were used to derive DOM compositions and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used for determining trace metal concentrations. DOM chemistry and trace element concentrations together with precipitation and discharge, watershed land use and land cover data, and physicochemical parameters were used to determine the source of trace elements in the adjoining areas of the watershed to the bay and finally settling into the bay sediments.
Abstract Document Site





Effects of Rainfall, Geometrical and Geomorphological Variables on Vulnerability of the Lower Mississippi River Levee System to Slump Slides
This study investigated the importance of rainfall and various geomorphological and geometrical factors to the vulnerability of earthen levees to slump slides. The study was performed using a database including 34 slump slides that occurred in the lower Mississippi River levee system from 2008 to 2009. The impact of rainfall within the six months prior to slide occurrence was studied for 23 slides for which an accurate occurrence date was available. Several variables were used to develop a logistic regression model to predict the probability of slump slide occurrence. The proposed model was verified for both slide and non-slide cases. The regression analysis depicts the impact of channel width, river sinuosity index, riverbank erosion, channel shape condition and distance to river. Excluding the sinuosity index, the impact of the other independent variables examined was found to be significant. Occurrence of riverbank erosion around the slide locations was the most significant predictor factor. A channel width of less than 1000 m was ranked as the second most significant variable. The proposed model can aid in locating high-risk areas on levees in order to take prompt protective measures, increase monitoring efforts and enable early response under emergency conditions.
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Estuarine Influence on Biogeochemical Properties of the Alabama Shelf during the Fall Season
Estuarine-shelf exchange can drive strong gradients in physical and biogeochemical properties in the coastal zone and exert a significant influence on biological processes and patterns. Physical, biogeochemical, and plankton data from an across-shelf transect extending south of Mobile Bay, Alabama, in conjunction with regional time series data, were used to determine the relative importance of estuarine-shelf interactions on the physical-biological structuring of the shelf environment during fall conditions (i.e., well-mixed, low discharge).This period was also characterized by a relatively unique weather event associated with the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, which drove a meteorological flushing of estuarine water onto the shelf. Survey data indicated generally low N:P ratios across the shelf, with slightly elevated dissolved inorganic nitrogen in the Region of Freshwater Influence (ROFI) that extended approximately 30 km offshore. The ROFI had higher values of chlorophyll-a, diatom-specific production, marine snow, and primary productivity, with notable contributions from the larger size cells (
Abstract Document





Evaluation of a Synthetic Rainfall Model, P-CLIPER, for Use in Coastal Flood Modeling
With the projected increase in both tropical cyclone (TC) intensity and proportion of the global population living near the coast, adequate preparation to protect against TC flooding is in the economic interest of coastal cities worldwide. Numerical models that describe TC properties, e.g., storm surge and wind fields, are currently employed to simulate the component of flooding that results from seawater inundation of areas along the coast (i.e., saltwater flooding). However, without the inclusion of freshwater flooding, contributed by inland surface flow and direct precipitation, a total water level (TWL) system for TC flooding lacks a complete picture of the actual coastal flood levels. Working toward a true TWL system, this research investigates the efficacy of the simple and efficient parametric TC rainfall model P-CLIPER (PDF Precipitation-Climatology and Persistence) to provide historically representative TC rainfall to a TWL system. This research demonstrates the success of this novel use of P-CLIPER through calibration and validation to the Tar
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Evaluation of the APEX Model to Simulate Runoff Quality from Agricultural Fields in the Southern Region of the U.S.
The Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model has been widely applied to assess phosphorus (P) loss in runoff water and has been proposed as a model to support practical decisions regarding agricultural P management, as well as a model to evaluate tools such as the P Index. The aim of this study is to evaluate the performance of APEX to simulate P losses from agricultural systems to determine its potential use for refinement or replacement of the P Index in the southern region of the United States. Uncalibrated and calibrated APEX model predictions were compared against measured water quality data from row crop fields in North Carolina and Mississippi and pasture fields in Arkansas and Georgia. Calibrated models satisfactorily predicted event-based surface runoff volumes at all sites (Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency [NSE]
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FloodViz: Visual Analytics for Assessment and Interpretation of Simulated River Flooding
The FloodViz project involves the development and testing of visual analytics software to enable scientists and forecasters to better interpret and distribute hydrologic information. This software will be useful in the research community as an interpretation tool for river level and flood data. The tools developed serve as a useful platform for hydrologic forecasters within the National Weather Service to more quickly and accurately determine areas at risk for flooding and allow NOAA river forecasters to better visualize the extent of flooding. Additionally, these tools allow forecasters to relay more information to the emergency management community while issuing forecasts to help protect lives, property and the nation.
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Forecasting Episodic Changes in Hurricane Intensity and Structure over the Gulf of Mexico
The primary goal of this proposed initial one-year project is to provide greater insight into forecasting time-sensitive trends of rapid formation, changing intensity, and changing wind field area (or size) of hurricanes over the Gulf Mexico in the interest of reducing the uncertainty in the risk posed to Gulf Coast residents and infrastructure. The focus would be to identify key features or processes present in the ambient atmosphere and in the Gulf of Mexico that led to critical episodic changes in the intensity and structure of recent hurricanes: Humberto, Gustav, and Ike.
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GeoVol-Geospatial Volume Rendering
This project created software using direct volume rendering techniques that achieved real-time performance and high image quality. A user study was conducted to compare the implemented volume rendering technique with state-of-the-art isosurface rendering to examine hurricane data. The results of the study established that both volume rendering and isosurface visualizations were effective in examining data from computer simulations of hurricanes. Because of the higher image quality and the interactive frame rates, direct volume rendering was preferred. Future studies will be conducted to quantify performance differences between using the traditional 2D methods and the 4D methods.
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Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
Since the establishment of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) in 2010, the Northern Gulf Research Institute (NGI) has played an active role in the GoMRI program. NGI is a member of the GoMRI management team, providing support for program administration, communications and outreach. GoMRI is a 10-year, $500-million independent research program established by an agreement between BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident and the potential associated impact of this and similar incidents on the environment and public health.
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Health and Productivity of Louisiana Salt Marshes
This study will allow the identification of hotspots of marsh degradation in Louisiana by evaluating marsh biophysical characteristics including distribution of chlorophyll content, green leaf area and green marsh canopy cover. This assessment of marsh health and productivity is due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite images will be used to retrieve and map these characteristics across the coastal Louisiana salt marshes before and after the spill. The maps and tools produced from the study will be helpful to coastal managers across Louisiana as they evaluate and prioritize the marsh restoration effort which will take place due to the oil spill. Tangible map products will be generated for the first time that can quantitatively assess the effect of the restoration activities and speed of marsh ecosystem recovery.
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Hydrological and Biogeochemical Controls of Seasonality in Dissolved Organic Matter Delivery to a Blackwater Estuary
Changes in riverine discharge of dissolved organic matter (DOM) serves as an indicator of linkages between terrestrial ecosystem and receiving aquatic environments. In this study, we test the hypothesis that the seasonal variability of DOM in an estuary fed by a blackwater river is primarily controlled by water discharge and also modified by photochemical and biological processes. We collected surface water samples during 4-week-long field campaigns to the lower Pearl River estuary located in southeastern Louisiana, two during high discharge in spring and two during low discharge in winter and summer, respectively. DOM composition was determined using spectrofluorometric indices and a site-specific parallel factor model, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. Spring samples with low salinity showed higher abundance of terrestrial, humic-like DOM and higher DOC concentrations, indicating the export of flood plain-derived DOM during high discharge. In contrast, summer and winter samples with high salinity had greater proportions of labile DOM and higher biological and fluorescence indices, which may reflect enhanced photochemical and biological degradation during summer and better preservation of labile DOM in winter. Spring DOM displayed highly variable source and quality character, relative to winter and summer samples.
Abstract and Research





Information Semantic Approach for Resource and Knowledge Discovery in an Integrated Ocean Observing System
This project will develop an Integrated Oceans Observing Systems compliant pilot that uses semantic web technologies and web services to enable resource and knowledge discovery among private and public data sets within the northern Gulf of Mexico. This will provide more timely predictions of natural hazards and their impacts; to sustain, protect and restore healthy marine and estuarine ecosystems; and to sustain, protect and restore marine resources.
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Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) Tool
This research was implemented as part of an overall Ecosystem Approach to Management (EAM). It looks at all indicators, such as tourism and recreation, climate change, fish populations and conservation and energy demands to evaluate ocean health. In the past, scientists, because of the limits of scientific knowledge and technology could only concentrate on individual segments and species of the ocean. The EAM approach using IEA management assessment tool allows them to combine data and look at the ocean as a whole. Research is being carried out at four sites in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Perdido Bay, Florida; Mississippi Sound, Mississippi; Barataria Basin, Louisiana; and Galveston Bay, Texas.
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Investigating the Correlation between Radar Backscatter and In Situ Soil Property Measurements
Utilizing remote sensing techniques to extract soil properties can facilitate several engineering applications for large-scale monitoring and modeling purposes such as earthen levees monitoring, landslide mapping, and off-road mobility modeling. This study presents results of statistical analyses to investigate potential correlations between multiple polarization radar backscatter and various physical soil properties. The study was conducted on an approximately 3 km long section of earthen levees along the lower Mississippi river as part of the development of remote levee monitoring methods. Polarimetric synthetic aperture radar imagery from UAVSAR was used along with an extensive set of in situ soil properties. The following properties were analyzed from the top 30
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Linking Cultural, Biological and Economic Values into Wetland Programs: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians' Pearl River Wetland Demonstration Project
This project aims to develop procedures for more reliably regenerating rivercane and for planting potential restoration sites in the Coastal Plain, and for maintenance of stands for cultural use by native peoples. We are assessing ecological factors associated with the establishment and maintenance of rivercane stands, developing methods for vegetative propagation of rivercane from rhizome segments, and attempting to transfer our findings directly to the Choctaw and other American Indian groups through local and regional symposia, workshops, and field days.
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Mapping of Invasive Phragmites (Common Reed) in Gulf of Mexico Coastal Wetlands Using Multispectral Imagery and Unmanned Aerial Systems
In coastal wetlands of the Gulf of Mexico, the invasive plant species Phragmites australis (common reed) rapidly alters the ecology of a site by shifting plant communities from heterogeneous mixtures of plant species to homogenous stands of Phragmites. Phragmites grows in very dense stands at an average height of 4.6 m and outcompetes native plants for resources. To restore affected wetlands, resource managers require an accurate map of Phragmites locations. Previous studies have used satellite and manned aircraft-based remote-sensing images to map Phragmites in relatively large areas at a coarse scale; however, low-altitude high-spatial-resolution pixel-based classification approaches would improve the mapping accuracy. This study explores the supervised classification methods to accurately map Phragmites in the coastal wetlands at the delta of the Pearl River in Louisiana and Mississippi, USA, using high-resolution (8 cm ground sample distance; GSD) multispectral imagery collected from a small unmanned aerial system platform at an altitude of 120 m. We create a map through pixel-based Support Vector Machines (SVM) classification using blue, green, red, red edge, and near-infrared spectral bands along with a digital surface model (DSM), vegetation indices, and morphological attribute profiles (MAPs) as features. This study also demonstrates the effects of different features and their usefulness in generating an accurate map of Phragmites locations. Accuracy assessment based on a) a subset of training/testing samples (to show classifier performance) and b) the entire ground reference (GR) map (to show the quality of mapping) is demonstrated. Kappa, overall accuracy (OA), class accuracies, and their confidence intervals (CIs) are reported. An OA of 91% and kappa of 63 is achieved. The results of this study indicate that features such as MAPs are very useful in accurately mapping invasive Phragmites compared with existing region-based approaches.
Abstract and Document





Micromechanics of Undrained Response of Dilative Granular Media Using a Coupled DEM-LBM Model: A Case of Biaxial Test
In this paper, the Discrete Element Method (DEM) is coupled with the Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM) to model the undrained condition of dense granular media that display significant dilations under highly confined loading. DEM-only models are commonly used to simulate the micromechanics of an undrained specimen by applying displacements at the domain boundaries so that the specimen volume remains constant. While this approach works well for uniform strain conditions found in laboratory tests, it does not realistically represent non-uniform strain conditions that exist in the majority of real geotechnical problems. The LBM offers a more realistic approach to simulate the undrained condition since the fluid can locally conserve the system volume. To investigate the ability of the DEM-LBM model to effectively represent the undrained constraint while conserving volume and accurately calculating the stress path of the system, a two-dimensional biaxial test is simulated using the coupled DEM-LBM model, and the results are compared with those attained from a DEM-only constant volume simulation
Abstract Document





National Data Buoy Center- Protecting Weather Data Buoys
NGI researchers assist NOAA's National Data Buoy Center with protecting weather data buoys from damage by analyzing the electronic equipment aboard the device. Buoy maintenance and upgrades cost an estimated $10 million a year, so preserving them becomes a priority and are a vital part of the National Weather Service's observation systems. They provide wind speed and direction, wave height, pressure changes and other key data about marine conditions.
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Naval Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM)/Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM)
NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research entrusted GRI to study two versions for each of these models- their global and Gulf of Mexico adaptations. Data was analyzed from instruments tethered to floating and moored buoys, as well as unmanned gliders that look like miniature submarines. The goal was to determine the accuracy of the four model forecasts, as well as their ranking with respect to each other.
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NGI/NOAA Diversity Internship Program
NGI and NOAA have collaborated to create this program which started back in 2008. It was created to answer the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) profession's appeal for help to find more qualified professionals. Since its inception, the program has provided workforce experiences for 64 higher education students. The program's unifying characteristic is a research or work-effort focus on the Gulf of Mexico through intern projects.
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NGI/NOAA Hypoxia Workshops
NGI and NOAA are conducting annual workshops to attract top scientists from around the world to solve hypoxia in aquatic systems. Hypoxia, a low oxygen condition, has been and decades long problem in the Gulf of Mexico. It is created when nitrates from farm fertilizer and manure mixed with sewage and runoff from suburban lawns, flow 800 miles down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. It is here that this potent blend feeds algae that bloom, die and decompose, robbing the Gulf's waters of oxygen and creating a dead zone each summer. The workshops provide a forum to share monitoring and modeling output data and coordinate Gulf hypoxic zone research that help to inform and refine management plans.
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NGI/NOAA National Data Buoy Center (NDBC)
The Center located at the John C. Stennis Space Center has created a partnership to help the next generation of atmospheric scientists transfer classroom knowledge into real-world research experiences. Future and veteran researchers examine measurements of wind speed and direction, air temperature, rainfall and ocean temperature to assess conditions in the ocean that help forecast weather.
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Northern Gulf Institute Integrated Education and Outreach Program
Under this project, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Mississippi State University (MSU) and Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) will work together to lead the effort to combine education and outreach into a single integrated program of a two year duration focusing on issues and opportunities in the Northern Gulf. By implementing education and outreach at the organizational level, drawing on the strengths of the NGI partners and NOAA education and outreach professionals in the Northern Gulf region, and maintaining an identifiable presence at each NGI partner by building a team with members at each institution, the education and outreach activities will increase the visibility and understanding of NGI research and will assist the integration of NGI research across partners and scientific themes.
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Nutrient and Sediment Runoff from Agricultural Landscapes with Varying Suites of Conservation Practices in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Increasing concern regarding environmental degradation in coastal areas that experience annual hypoxic zones has led to the need for mitigation of nutrient laden runoff from inland landscapes. An annual occurrence of a hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico has led to the development and implementation of nutrient reduction strategies throughout the Mississippi River Basin (MRB). With federal, state, and private financial and technical assistance, landowners have implemented best management practices (BMPs) to combat nutrient and sediment nonpoint source pollution; however, the effectiveness of these BMPs alone or utilized together has not been quantified. This study uses a field-scale, paired watershed approach in two watersheds in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley to test for differences in sediment and nutrient runoff concentrations between four management systems.
Abstract and publication site





Quantifying Capture and Use of Tailwater Recovery Systems
The government has provided financial assistance on approximately 200 tailwater recovery systems in the state of Mississippi, and more in other states. The objective of this study was to quantify surface water capture and use within 31 tailwater recovery ditches (TWR) and on-farm storage reservoirs (OFS), so that conservation benefits could be evaluated. Water-level data were combined with system dimensions, rainfall data, and evaporation estimates to assess total gains and losses over the course of a year. Systems had a net positive balance of approximately 2,200,000 m3m3 (2,200 ML) of captured surface water. Losses from evaporation and infiltration were between 8.68 and 10.97
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Satellite Rainfall Applications for Surface Hydrology
GRI has evaluated results which examine how soil moisture states simulated by land surface models are impacted when forced with various precipitation datasets. These datasets are from a collection of Global Precipitation Mission satellite constellation configurations gathered over the continental United States.
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Sediment and Mercury Path and Fate Modeling
Sediments are the main repository of mercury in the coastal Gulf of Mexico as well as the site of transformation of inorganic mercury to methylmercury, the more toxic form which is bioaccumulated in fish and enters into the food webs. This project develops methods which predict the path and fate of sediment and mercury in the Gulf coastal region from entry point to fish stocks.
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Southern P Indices, Water Quality Data, and Modeling (APEX, APLE, and TBET) Results: A Comparison
Phosphorus (P) Indices in the southern United States frequently produce different recommendations for similar conditions. We compared risk ratings from 12 southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) using data collected from benchmark sites in the South (Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas). Phosphorus Index ratings were developed using both measured erosion losses from each benchmark site and Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2 predictions; mostly, there was no difference in P Index outcome. The derived loss ratings were then compared with measured P loads at the benchmark sites by using equivalent USDA–NRCS P Index ratings and three water quality models (Annual P Loss Estimator [APLE], Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender [APEX], and Texas Best Management Practice Evaluation Tool [TBET]). Phosphorus indices were finally compared against each other using USDA–NRCS loss ratings model estimate correspondence with USDA–NRCS loss ratings. Correspondence was 61% for APEX, 48% for APLE, and 52% for TBET, with overall P index correspondence at 55%. Additive P Indices (Alabama and Texas) had the lowest USDA–NRCS loss rating correspondence (31%), while the multiplicative (Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee) and component (Georgia, Kentucky, and North Carolina) indices had similar USDA–NRCS loss rating correspondence—60 and 64%, respectively. Analysis using Kendall’s modified Tau suggested that correlations between measured and calculated P-loss ratings were similar or better for most P Indices than the models.
Document Document Site





Spatial and spectral Hyperspectral Classification Using Local Binary Patterns and Markov Random Fields
Local binary patterns (LBPs) have been extensively used to yield spatial features for the classification of general imagery, and a few recent works have applied these patterns to the classification of hyperspectral imagery. Although the conventional LBP formulation employs only the signs of differences between a central pixel and its surrounding neighbors, it has been recently demonstrated that the difference magnitudes also possess discriminative information. Consequently, a sign-and-magnitude LBP is proposed to provide a spatial
Abstract Document Site





Spatial Technology and High Performance Computing for Improving Prediction of Surface Water Quality
This project will contribute generally to improved coastal management decisions by demonstrating the best use of new data and modeling technologies for ecosystem management. It will specifically lead to improved management of Mobile Bay, with benefits to the Alabama-Mississippi coastal zone and Mississippi Sound.
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Spatial Variation and Temporal Trend of Water Quality
NGI conducted ground truth observations and standardize algorithms to produce and evaluate the spatial and temporal variations of water quality parameters in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM). The effort is aimed at improving the monitoring of the NGOM ecosystem based on remote sensing and understanding the dynamics of harmful algae blooms in the region.
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Stennis Exploration Command Center
The Exploration Command Center (ECC) is based at the Mississippi State University Science and Technology Center located at the John C. Stennis Space Center. MSU's High Performance Computing Collaboratory and NOAA's Coastal Data Development Center's technological collaboration has enabled engineers aboard research vessels in the Gulf of Mexico to communicate live with scientists on shore. Since the ECC went live two years ago, the Okeanos Explorer has shared high-definition video and audio of six expeditions. Telepresence, using real-time broadband satellite communications, allows scientists, students and Stennis visitors who are on shore to participate in the ship's exploration expedition.
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The Mississippi Digital Earth Model
The Mississippi Digital Earth Model (MDEM) is composed of seven framework layers as defined by the Federal Geographic Data Community's National Spatial Data Infrastructure. Data for the MDEM is acquired and managed through joint operations between the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services.
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The Science of William M. Gray: His Contributions to the Knowledge of Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones
Advances in knowledge in tropical meteorological research are discussed in the context of contributions made by Professor William M. Gray. Gray pioneered the compositing approach to observational tropical meteorology through assembling of global radiosonde data sets and tropical cyclone research flight data. In the 1970s he made fundamental contributions to knowledge of convective-larger scale interactions. Throughout his career he wrote seminal papers on tropical cyclone structure, cyclogenesis, motion and seasonal forecasts. His conceptual development of a seasonal genesis parameter also laid an important framework for both seasonal forecasting as well climate change studies on tropical cyclones. His work was a blend of both observationally-based studies as well as the development of theoretical concepts. This paper reviews the progress in knowledge in the areas where Dr. Gray provided his largest contributions and describes the scientific legacy of Gray
Abstract and Document Site





Toward an Understanding of Gulf Coast Resident Preferences on Risk and Restoration
The results of this work will provide useful insights into whether seemingly anomalous coastal risk taking behavior can be explained by more robust behavioral models. Policy makers and scientists concerned with coastal management will obtain clarification of whether coastal resident behavior is driven by a lack of information, misguided perceptions, or simply personal preferences. Additionally, this work will allow for identification of perceived benefits from restoration and how individuals prioritize them. Finally, it may allow for identification of incentives that can be used to induce socially-optimal behavior.
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UAS with MicroSense RedEdge Payload Help Monitor and Manage Forest Resortation
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) carry a multispectral senor that produce images that provides biologist and geographic information system specialists with changes in the woodlands and vegetation in almost real time. These systems also show the density and regrowth of woodland, marsh, and coastal areas. Mississippi State University’s Geosystems Research Institute is assisting the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR) and the U.S. Forestry Service with surveying the 4,200 acres that were burned during a large wildfire that reaches from southeast Jackson County into Alabama. These experts utilized the Altavian Nova Block III to inspect the area from 1,000 feet, and they deployed the MicaSense RedEdge. The MicaSense RedEdge has the ability to sense energy at five different wavelengths. Two of the five wavelengths exceed our vision in the Near Infrared Region (NIR) of the electromagnetic spectrum. The senor provides researchers with accurate data that projects the status of vegetation and stress of areas within the ecosystem. With this knowledge, researchers and specialists can aid in the revegetation of the burned woodlands and marsh of the GBNERR, the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge and neighboring lands.
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UAV Research with NOAA
GRI scientists are using UAVs to assess the speed and rate of how rivers flow and rise and where the water goes, especially in flood type conditions. Partnering with NOAA, both are helping the U.S. to become a “Weather Ready Nation.” This effort can help prevent the loss of life and property before, during and after natural disasters, such as flooding, created by tropical storms and hurricanes. They are conducting research and gaining invaluable environmental and situational data along the lower Pearl River watershed, south of Bogalusa, Louisiana, all the way down to what is called the tidal plain.
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Unmanned Aerial Systems
GRI scientists are researching the effective use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USV's) commonly referred to as drones, in how they can be used safely to assess crops, evaluate woodlands, conduct wildlife surveys, gauge river flow and monitor the Gulf of Mexico environmental health and watershed, as well as helping NOAA increase the accuracy of severe weather forecasts. These unmanned aerial and surface/water systems use remote sensing, global positioning--and geographic information systems to collect and analyze sites specific data that farmers, foresters, wildlife rangers, oceanographers and marine scientists can use to create and apply effective prescriptions for every inch of an agricultural field, ocean, river, forest and wildlife management areas.
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Using Spatial Variability in the Rate of Change of Chlorophyll a to Improve Water Quality Management in a Subtropical Oligotrophic Estuary
Abstract Anthropogenic eutrophication threatens numerous aquatic ecosystems across the globe. Proactive management that prevents a system from becoming eutrophied is more effective and cheaper than restoring a eutrophic system, but detecting early warning signs and problematic nutrient sources in a relatively healthy system can be difficult. The goal of this study was to investigate if rates of change in chlorophyll a and nutrient concentrations at individual stations can be used to identify specific areas that need to be targeted for management. Biscayne Bay is a coastal embayment in southeast Florida with primarily adequate water quality that has experienced rapid human population growth over the last century. Water quality data collected at 48 stations throughout Biscayne Bay over a 20-year period (1995�2014) were examined to identify any water quality trends associated with eutrophication. Chlorophyll a and phosphate concentrations have increased throughout Biscayne Bay, which is a primary indicator of eutrophication. Moreover, chlorophyll a concentrations throughout the northern area, where circulation is restricted, and in nearshore areas of central Biscayne Bay are increasing at a higher rate compared to the rest of the Bay. This suggests increases in chlorophyll a are due to local nutrient sources from the watershed. These areas are also where recent seagrass die-offs have occurred, suggesting an urgent need for management intervention. This is in contrast with the state of Florida listing of Biscayne Bay as a medium priority impaired body of water.
Abstract Research Document





Variation in Dissolved Organic Matter, Trace Metals, and Acidification Parameters in the Western Mississippi Sound
The total amount of oysters harvested in the Mississippi Sound has declined by 85.71% over the last 13 years. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of water quality on the oysters, specifically the temporal changes in dissolved organic matter (DOM), trace elements, and ocean acidification parameters over the largest oyster bed in the western Mississippi Sound.
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Visualization Techniques for Improving Understanding of Severe Storms
This project advances the visual analysis tools to increase a modeler or analyst's ability to understand hurricane structure, intensity and dynamics. The project focuses on developing new 2D and 3D visualization tools which produce visualization products that can be made publicly available, easily interpreted and can be viewed on personal computers or used in television coverage. The goal is to create a hurricane visualization system that accepts both simulated and measured data as input and put all the data into a single geographic context.
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WISDOM - Weather In-Situ Deployment Optimization Method
GRI scientists and students are participating in WISDOM, the Weather In-Situ Deployment Optimization Method research program that seeks to improve hurricane forecasting time by three to seven days before a storm's landfall by providing wind and atmospheric data in areas of the Atlantic basin that are poorly observed. The WISDOM program launches small super-pressure balloons with payloads that include GPS and satellite radio communications capabilities.
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