PREDICTION OF CURRENT AND SEDIMENT DEPOSITION PATTERNS IN PUERTO MIRANDA OIL TERMINAL USING 2-D MATHEMATICAL MODELS

Carlos Villoria, Reinaldo Garcia, Eduardo Valera

Abstract


Puerto Miranda oil terminal, located in the Maracaibo Strait, Venezuela (see figures 1 and 2), is one of the main Venezuelan oil industry loading facilities of crude oils. Ships access the terminal from the Gulf of Venezuela by a 40 km long, 300 m wide and 13.7 m depth main channel, which is periodically dredged in order to keep the design depth. A secondary channel leads from the main channel to the terminal itself ( See figure 3). Over the last few years the increase in sedimentation rates in the secondary channel has motivated the need for studies that would determine alternatives to reduce dredging costs. A previous work [0], based on the circulation and sedimentation patterns in the area under study, proposed the construction of a new access channel with a different orientation regarding the prevailing current direction, that would reduce the sedimentation rate and dredging frequency. The Venezuelan oil industry through its R & D filiate (INTEVEP), has developed a 2-D finite element mathematical model to simulate suspended sediment transport and a 2-D finite difference circulation model for coastal regions. In this work, these models are applied to determine the evolution of the secondary old and new dredged access channels to Puerto Miranda oil terminal. Both models were calibrated and validated with field data and results are presented for the complex circulation and sedimentation patterns that occur in the area of Puerto Miranda terminal.

Keywords


current; current prediction; sediment deposition; oil terminal; Puerto Miranda terminal

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