Improvement of pollutant drift forecast system applied to the Prestige oil spills in Galicia Coast (NW of Spain): development of an operational system

P Carracedo, S Torres-López, M Barreiro, P Montero, C F Balseiro, E Penabad, P C Leitao, V Pérez-Muñuzuri
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2006, 53 (5): 350-60
An integrated system named METEOMOHID, developed by MeteoGalicia in the first stage of the Prestige accident in November 2002 was used successfully in an operational form to support decision making and assist in recovering tasks. Afterwards, METEOMOHID has been enhanced with the aim of developing an operational oceanography system to be used in the NW of the Iberian Peninsula. The METEOMOHID system includes local area hydrodynamic coastal ocean modelling (MOHID), real time atmospheric forcing from a local meteorological model (ARPS). Using the available data from the Prestige crisis, a set of simulations were designed in order to reproduce the oil spill drift. The implementation of a detailed vertical resolution in the model has allowed obtaining a detailed surface dynamic, improving our knowledge of the behaviour of tarballs into the water column. Thus, the wind-driven Eckman drift, the direct dragging of the wind were detached, and the possible existence of subsurface oil was assessed. In addition, the present work evaluates the effects of introducing climatologic large scale currents in the METEOMOHID system.

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