Modeling oil spill trajectory in coastal waters based on fractional Brownian motion

W J Guo, Y X Wang, M X Xie, Y J Cui
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2009, 58 (9): 1339-46
This paper proposes a numerical method to simulate oil spill trajectories, which are affected by the combination of advection, turbulent diffusion and mechanical spreading process, based on a particle tracking algorithm. Recent studies have shown that the trajectories of drifters on the ocean surface have a fractal structure that is far from being described using ordinary Brownian motion. Thus, in modeling the diffusion process, a discrete method has been employed for the generation of fractional Brownian motion (fBm) to illustrate superdiffusive transport. The algorithm is implemented to predict oil slick trajectories following the "Arteaga" oil spill accident that occurred near the Dalian coastal region in 2005. When compared with the observed data and the results of traditional diffusion modeling, the numerical results based on the fBm model are encouraging.

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