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Marine Sciences Division

Lyle Hibler

Marine Sciences Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
1529 West Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, Washington 98382


Mr. Lyle Hibler joined Battelle in 1986. He is an environmental engineer with expertise in developing and applying numerical models of contaminant transport in rivers, estuaries, the open ocean, and groundwater. Mr. Hibler has also conducted statistical and uncertainty analysis of the numerical algorithms used by these types of models. He has a working knowledge of FORTRAN, UNIX, GMT, Tecplot, and IDL. He has applied DELFT3D, the Princeton Ocean Model, RMA2 and RMA2, DWOPER, and TMDL model codes to several sites. Mr. Hibler contributed to the development of the Multimedia Environmental Pollution Assessment System (MEPAS), a large U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program to model contaminant transport and assess environmental hazards in atmospheric, groundwater, and surface-water systems.

Recent research has included the development and application of various models to address environmental impact issues, such as climate change, nearshore restoration, and non-point source pollution in watersheds. Diverse projects have included the coupling of remotely sensed images with circulation and transport models to help gain an understanding of the roles of estuaries in the carbon cycle and potential long-term effects of climate change, and the linking of models to assess impacts of management, land use, and climate change on water quantity and quality, vegetation, and carbon balance. Mr. Hibler has developed tools to address endangered species and habitat issues, such as minimizing effects to eelgrass by overwater structures, and assessing factors that contribute to eelgrass growth and distribution. Project work has related to assessing revision of regulations related to the discharge of waste material from vessels into marine waters, and the review of an oil spill model for the US Department of Interior, Minerals Management Service. Freshwater analyses have included the estimation of watershed acidification, thermal modeling of the Columbia River, and oil spill modeling in the Komi Region of Russia (Usa and Pechora Rivers).

Mr. Hibler has been involved in several defense- and security-oriented projects, including the Arctic radionuclide project, which assessed the impact of Russian radionuclide waste disposal on the Arctic Ocean. Other efforts have include assessments of the radioactivity of several marine releases from nuclear powered submarine accidents (OSCAR-II SSGN and Echo-II), including circulation and transport modeling within the Sea of Japan. He also is involved in the use of numerical models to assist in the identification and quantification of undocumented environmental releases of contaminants in marine waters.

Research Interests

  • Coastal and estuarine circulation with particular interest in circulation and transport modeling
  • Coastal and watershed processes
  • Coastal restoration and remediation

Education and Credentials

  • 1990 M.S., Environmental Systems Engineering Option, Humboldt State University
  • 1986 B.S., Environmental Resources Engineering with Emphasis in Water Resources, Humboldt State University

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Geophysical Union

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2011 Of The Year Award for work on the Nuclear Regulatory New Reactor Licensing Program project.
  • 2010 Outstanding Performance Award for NRC supporting the safety review and mandatory hearings in front of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) for new reactor licensing - provided significant support to the Calvert Cliffs safety review.

PNNL Publications



  • Hibler LF, AR Maxwell, LM Miller, NP Kohn, DL Woodruff, M Montes, and MA Moline. 2008. "Improved fine-scale transport model performance using AUV and HSI feedback in a tidally dominated system." Journal of Geophysical Research. C. (Oceans) 113:Art. no. C08036.  doi:10.1029/2008JC004739


  • Ettesvold MR, MG Foley, CE Willingham, Jr, P Becker, LF Hibler, and MC Miller. 2006. Environmental Implications of the OSCAR II SSGN Kursk Submarine AccidentPNNL-13531, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Steinmaus KL, J Bowles, DL Woodruff, T Donato, WJ Rhea, WA Snyder, DR Korwan, LM Miller, GM Petrie, AR Maxwell, and LF Hibler. 2006. "Evolution of a Man-Made Plume in Coastal Waters." Eos 87(51):581-592. 


  • Paluszkiewicz T, LF Hibler, MC Richmond, DJ Bradley, and SA Thomas. 2001. "Modeling the Potential Radionuclide Transport by the Ob and Yenisey Rivers to the Kara Sea." Marine Pollution Bulletin 43(1-6):111-121. 
  • Thom RM, AB Borde, KO Richter, and LF Hibler. 2001. "Influence of Urbanization on Ecological Processes in Wetlands ." In Land Use and Watersheds : Human Influence on Hydrology and Geomorphology in Urban and Forest Areas. Water Science and Application, vol. 2, ed. Mark Wigmosta and Stephen Burges, pp. 5-16.  American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC. 

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Marine Sciences Laboratory
1529 W. Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, WA 98382
Phone: (360) 683-4151
Fax: (360) 681-3699