Frequently Asked Questions

BLOSOM stands for Blowout & Spill Occurrence Model, which was first developed at Oregon State University through funding from the National Energy Technology Laboratory. It is a fully comprehensive, spatially-explicit, and 3-dimensional spill model for deepwater blowouts from source to final fate.

The currently distributed release is built for Windows, with all required libraries included. BLOSOM has also been successfully built and run on a few flavors of Linux, and, with a little effort, could be readily built for other environments as well. Please contact us if you have interest in BLOSOM for a specific computing platform.

Additionally, as a numerical model, BLOSOM requires quite a bit of memory and multi-core processors for maximum efficiency as it uses a high number of particles and heavy multi-threading for optimization. The exact requirements though will vary by simulation parameters, generally increasing with blowout duration. At least 4-6 GB memory is suggested with a multi-core processor.

With the v3.0 rewrite of BLOSOM, we are in the process of revisiting how hydrodynamic data is read in and managed. The simplest is user-input fixed conditions that do not vary in space or time, except for pressure (and in-situ density) by depth. The alternative method involves reading in netCDF outputs from various ocean models. There are explicit presets for reading data from the NCOM and HYCOM ocean models; outputs from other ocean models can presently be used if they are structured grids and if the user provides the required variable names. A separate bathymetry layer is expected to be provide; however, BLOSOM provides a number of bathymetry presets for convenience.

NetCDF files using unstructured grids, generalized tabular data and OpenDAP queries are all being explored as methods for managing ambient data input. This space will be updated as the Ambient data handler evolves.

Outputs may be given in a tabular format (e.g. CSV or TSV) with spatial locations specified in appropriate columns but otherwise limited metadata, or given as a geographic shapefile with all attributes and metadata provided in the format. The fields, output locations, and recording frequencies are all configured from within a set of BLOSOM scenario settings. Additionally, entire scenarios may be saved and loaded, as well as previous outputs reloaded into the BLOSOM interface to continue the simulation from where it ended last.
BLOSOM can be downloaded from the resources/download page here.
We are still in the process of putting together our source code distribution process and portal. This entry will be updated once a link is available.
Libraries used presently for BLOSOM (version 3.0 and above):


Libraries used with previous versions of BLOSOM: