JOURNAL ARTICLE

Development and verification of a screening model for surface spreading of petroleum

Maged Hussein, Minghui Jin, James W Weaver
Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 2002, 57 (3): 281-302
12180813
Overflows and leakage from aboveground storage tanks and pipelines carrying crude oil and petroleum products occur frequently. The spilled hydrocarbons pose environmental threats by contaminating the surrounding soil and the underlying ground water. Predicting the fate and transport of these chemicals is required for environmental risk assessment and for remedial measure design. The present paper discusses the formulation and application of the Oil Surface Flow Screening Model (OILSFSM) for predicting the surface flow of oil by taking into account infiltration and evaporation. Surface flow is simulated using a semi-analytical model based on the lubrication theory approximation of viscous flow. Infiltration is simulated using a version of the Green and Ampt infiltration model, which is modified to account for oil properties. Evaporation of volatile compounds is simulated using a compositional model that accounts for the changes in the fraction of each compound in the spilled oil. The coupling between surface flow, infiltration and evaporation is achieved by incorporating the infiltration and evaporation fluxes into the global continuity equation of the spilled oil. The model was verified against numerical models for infiltration and analytical models for surface flow. The verification study demonstrates the applicability of the model.

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