Oil Spill Modelling Services
Understanding the risk: We are all too familiar with the potential reputational, environmental, social and financial impact of oil spills. Underpinning risk assessment of an oil spill and planning for spill response requires an accurate understanding of the transport and fate of oil in the marine environment- We are a leading provider of sophisticated oceanographic modelling assessments that are key to decision support for operators seeking to understanding the inherent risk of a spill event.
OILTRAK3D Modelling System
The GEMMS 3D Coastal Ocean Model (GCOM3D) has a proven track record for modelling ocean currents. GCOM3D is an advanced, z-coordinate 3-dimensional ocean model that has been validated extensively and has gained worldwide acceptance for the accurate modelling of coastal ocean currents and tides around the World.
In 1989 the GEMMS GCOM3D ocean model was first used to drive the U.S. ASA OILMAP system. In 2000, the oil spill model OILTRAK3D was developed by GEMS further improving upon the overall accuracy and robustness of the system.
OILTRAK3D is designed to simulate the fate of various oil types when spilled into the marine environment. The model uses current predictions from GCOM3D to provide an accurate representation of a spill, taking into account the following processes:
- Predicted surface currents due to the prevailing winds, tides and geostrophic currents
- Wind forcing on the surface of an oil slick
- Surface spreading
- Horizontal diffusion
- Natural dispersion and transportation of physically or chemically entrained oil
- Dissolution into the water column (of volatile components)
- Entrainment by waves
- Em unification
- Shoreline stranding
The effects of an oil spill will depend on a variety of factors including the quantity and type of oil spilled, and how the oil interacts with the marine environment.
Oil spills may impact the environment in the following ways:
- Physical smothering
- Chemical toxicity
- Ecological changes
- Indirect effects
The correct model selection and experience of oceanographic and meteorological phenomenon are critical in order to understand the fate of any spills. WKC are able to combine local knowledge of the environmental conditions and ecosystems that are put at risk with advanced modelling techniques to better understand any potential risk.
Minimising the risk
The model enables the prediction of surface, sub-surface and sediment hydrocarbon concentrations.
GCOM3D and OILTRAK3D produce Windows and Arc-GIS compatible graphic outputs that can be readily incorporated into Word documents or GiS systems (for integration with other spatial information used for emergency spill response planning).
The OILTRACK3D is commonly used for determining
- Stochastic (Probability of Exposure) Analysis - used to develop probability contours of exposure to a spill given that a spill has actually occurred
- Realistic Probability Analysis - used to calculate the actual probability of oil impacting a particular region considering the probability of the spill occurring in the first place.