NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF OIL SLICK TRANSPORT IN BAYS

Shen Wang, Li-San Hwang

Abstract


A computer model for simulating oil spreading and transport has been developed. The model can be utilized as a useful tool in providing advance information and thus may guide decisions for an effective response in control and clean-up once an accidental spill occurs. The spreading motion is simulated according to the physical properties of oil and its characteristics at the air-oil-water interfaces. The transport movement is handled by superimposing the spreading with a drift motion caused by winds and tidal currents. By considering an oil slick as a summation of many elementary patches and applying the principle of superposition, the model is capable of predicting the oil size, shape, and movement as a function of time after a spill originates. Field experiments using either cardboard markers or soybean oil to simulate a spill were conducted at the Long Beach Harbor. Computer predictions showed good agreement with the field traces.

Keywords


oil slick; numerical simulation; slick transport; bay

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