Use of complex mathematical models and geospatial information systems (GIS) has traditionally been a mutually exclusive process. Spatial and temporal modeling is performed using a suite of well-established numerical models for a particular domain or area of interest (AOI) and outputs are produced for the same domain framework. GIS, on the other hand, allows integration for managing, storage, analyzing, connecting to perihyls, output (ie. hardcopy, softcopy) map and image products along with visualizing data for interpretation in two dimensions (2D) and three dimensions (3D) from many sources and different formats. A GIS system can include; marine data: biota, sediment types, water quality, hydrodynamic data, and ecological sensitivity information, in addition to atmospheric meteorological data. The ability to project and integrate results from numerical models in a GIS system could potentially be a powerful spatial decision support system (SDSS) for operational aspects of coastal and offshore industrial activities to support environmental management and for regulatory reporting requirements. The system would incorporate a web-based computing infrastructure where geospatial data can be accessible to many users with access controls set by data owners that are appropriate to needs. The vision is the implementation of integrated diverse multi-scale, multi-disciplinary spatial data with analytical and numerical models for environmental and industrial management. The initial SDSS developed in this stage of work integrates the physical and logical components of the modeling system into a GIS framework such that seamless interaction and functionality amongst existing GIS data sets and cooling water dispersion model scenarios can be further analyzed and visualized in a spatial format. The system will also have the flexibility to incorporate additional datasets, analytical or numerical models, and other decision making tools in the future. Such systems can assist users such as plant managers (adaptive management), emergency response teams (response planning and action) and policy advisors (impact assessment and planning). The recent emergence, although still in a nascent stage, of web-based, spatial referencing GIS tools show promise in many key aspects of environmental and operational management, research and public policy, including data storage, analysis, and decision making. Systems such as the SDSS developed in this work can help facilitate the use of these emerging technologies.


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