San Francisco Bay and Delta Oil Spill Fate Studies Part II: Oil Spill Simulation

by R. Glenn Ford, Ecological Consulting, Inc, Portland, United States,
Rodney J. Sobey, Ecological Consulting, Inc, Portland, United States,
Parmeshwar L. Shrestha, Ecological Consulting, Inc, Portland, United States,
Camilla M. Saviz, Ecological Consulting, Inc, Portland, United States,
Gerald T. Orlob, Ecological Consulting, Inc, Portland, United States,
Ian P. King, Ecological Consulting, Inc, Portland, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering

Abstract: Because of the presence of oil refineries and significant tanker and barge traffic in the bay and delta region, the possibility of a moderate or major spill in the area must be considered. We have constructed a general model that calculates a Lagrangian element solution for an oil spill in this region. Surface currents are simulated using output from the U.C. Davis RMA-2V model. We combine the surface current fields with real time sequences of wind speed and direction collected at eight sites in the bay and delta areas during 1990 and 1991 interpolated to form a smooth spatially varying wind field. A random diffusive component is added to simulate spreading. The magnitude of the diffusive component and the number of Lagrangian elements are adjusted to simulate spills of varying sizes. Characterization of intertidal substrates in this area is based on 1:24,000 scale digital maps and the National Wetlands Inventory. Oil particles are not permitted to cross exposed mud or marsh, or they are assumed to strand if they are already over these substrates as the tide ebbs. The model is written in ANSI FORTRAN77 and runs in protected mode on a 486 based PC. It includes high resolution runtime graphics and an interactive interface that permits the user to pause and query the model.

Subject Headings: Hazardous materials spills | Computer models | Bays | Mathematical models | Petroleum refining | Lagrangian functions | Wind speed | Wind direction

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