Three dimensional simulation of transport and fate of oil spill under wave induced circulation

Tianyi Liu, Y Peter Sheng
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2014 March 15, 80 (1): 148-59
An oil spill model is developed and coupled to a current-wave model to simulate oil spill transport in aquatic environments where waves are present. The oil spill model incorporates physical-chemical processes of oil spill, and simulates oil slick transport by a circulation-driven Lagrangian Parcel model. Using the coupled oil spill model and the current-wave model CH3D-SWAN, a laboratory observed wave induced circulation and oil slick evolution are successfully simulated, while different current-wave coupling schemes generate different flow patterns and oil slick evolution. The modeling system is also shown to simulate Langmuir circulation and resulting oil slicks. Hypothetical scenarios of oil spill near Virginia coast during Hurricane Isabel and Irene are simulated using the oil spill model and the CH3D-Storm Surge Modeling System to assess the role of storm waves during oil spill. The spill area is significantly larger when storm waves are considered, implying waves significantly increase oil spill dispersion.

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