Model Development for Operational Use to Help Spill Combating and Sea Rescue

by Heimo Vepsä, Water and Environment District of, Oulu, Oulu, Finland,
Erkki Alasaarela, Water and Environment District of, Oulu, Oulu, Finland,
Juha Sarkkula, Water and Environment District of, Oulu, Oulu, Finland,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Estuarine and Coastal Modeling


Based on twenty years' experience on flow velocity measurements, transport experiments and numerical modeling the three-dimensional (3D) models of water currents, transport and water quality were applied to simulate the behaviour of oil spills, chemical spills and objects adrift to help spill combating and sea rescue. For the application the conventional water quality models had to be further developed to take into account the direct wind drift on the object or slick at the surface, the velocity profile across the object in water, buoyancy, settling velocity, and the physico-chemical and biological reactions affecting the properties and behaviour of the spill. Of central importance was the possibility for easy use of the model by the personnel in charge at the coast guards. This required programs in standard PC's with clear input routines, limited amount of alternatives and with illustrative presentation of the results preferably as a map. The model validity was originally tested with documented data about historical oil spills and drifting cases. The model development was further supported by additional flow velocity measurements and by more detailed drifting experiments. According to them the accuracy of the drifting estimates within one day (10 to 20 km's drift) varied from 200 meters to 2.5 kilometers. It is aimed at being improved first of all by improving the accuracy of the wind estimates above the sea.

Subject Headings: Water pollution | Water quality | Flow measurement | Numerical models | Hydrologic models | Three-dimensional flow | Seas and oceans | Wind speed

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