Simulated Oil Tanker, Benzene Chemical Tanker Collision in Tampa Bay


Explosive Interoperability GIS Demonstration

In light of recent natural and man-made disasters the ability to quickly respond is becoming more urgent than ever. Emergency response teams, rescue units, police and firefighters all need crucial and timely data to perform their jobs when time is of the essence and lives are on the line.

By creating interoperability between systems this can be made possbile. It allows software and hardware on different servers from different vendors to share data, read and write the same file formats and use the same protocols, without special effort on the part of the user.

Applied Science Associates develops computer models which simulate physical, chemical, and biological processes which can not only solve environmental problems but can also be applied to disaster situations on land or sea. These intuitive modeling systems are integrated with commercially validated weather products for accurate and up to date conditions. The results of these models can be consumed by other 3rd party software and this interoperability allows the systems to be used on desktop PCs, laptops, as well as hand held devices with a simple web browser.

Simulated Oil tanker and benzene chemical tanker collision
Simulated Oil tanker and benzene chemical tanker collision in Tampa Bay

During the opening session, attendees were treated to a fictional, but very real possibility, of an oil tanker and benzene chemical tanker collision in Tampa Bay.

This scenario was presented by ASA’s Eoin Howlett. Eoin simulated the resulting oil spill and benzene explosion using ASA’s OILMAP (oil spill) and AIRMAP (atmospheric dispersion) intuitive modeling systems integrated with weather products and ArcGIS. These models simulate the fate and transport of the spilled oil and the benzene plume at hourly increments.

By integrating real-time weather, an accurate prediction of the air plume and spill trajectory was achieved, all within 2 minutes. Eoin impressed the audience by showing how the program allows emergency workers to automatically connect to data and plan their rescues more efficiently than ever before. By using open standards, ESRI showed that they could consume the results with the new ArcGIS Explorer to show a 3D view of the buildings and region impacted by the plume.

ASA is an international leader in the development and application of computer tools to investigate marine and freshwater environments. Since 1979 ASA has been helping clients understand and manage marine and freshwater environments worldwide.

Combining advanced computer modeling tools with the consulting capabilities of an exceptionally diverse technical staff, the firm provides a broad range of services to international, national and local government agencies, private industry and educational institutions.

ASA has extensive experience with clients involved in oil and gas, power generation, ports and harbors, wastewater, coastal management and crisis response, ecological risk assessment, hydrodynamics, dredging, water quality and coastal engineering.

In addition to its Narragansett, RI headquarters, ASA has offices in Australia and Brazil. The company’s website,, contains numerous scientific reports written by its staff and extensive information about its services.

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.