A Shell Approach to Modeling Oil Spill Trajectory and Fate and Search and Rescue Operations

by M. L. Spaulding, Applied Science Associates, Inc, Narragansett, United States,
E. Howlett, Applied Science Associates, Inc, Narragansett, United States,
K. Jayko, Applied Science Associates, Inc, Narragansett, United States,
E. Anderson, Applied Science Associates, Inc, Narragansett, United States,
T. Isaji, Applied Science Associates, Inc, Narragansett, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling

Abstract: A shell approach is employed to facilitate the application of an oil spill trajectory and fate and search and rescue model to a wide variety of geographic areas. In this strategy the model software, user interface, linkage to supporting data bases, and an embedded geographic information system remain the same among the various applications. Data to define the shoreline location, currents, wind, temperature, and other environmental information are user supplied for specific geographic areas. The user simply selects the appropriate location data sets. The model system calculates the trajectory and fate of oil from user specified release points, assuming either instantaneous or time dependent spill. The user specifies the oil type using a boiling point cut representation. The oil spill model predicts the drift, spread, evaporation, dispersion and emulsification of the oil. The model can be employed in hindcast, forecast, and receptor modes. Model predictions can be either deterministic or stochastic. The search and rescue model allows the user to estimate the probable location of an object (e.g. disabled vessel, debris, etc.) based on an initial estimate of its location and environmental conditions. Calculations can also be made tracing sited debris backward in time (receptor mode) to determine its probable origin. Applications of the shell to selected oil spills and search and rescue use are presented.

Subject Headings: Hazardous materials spills | Disaster response | Computer software | Information systems | Computer models | Geographic information systems | Environmental issues | Debris

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