JOURNAL ARTICLE

Analysis of the contribution of wind drift factor to oil slick movement under strong tidal condition: Hebei Spirit oil spill case

Tae-Ho Kim, Chan-Su Yang, Jeong-Hwan Oh, Kazuo Ouchi
PloS One 2014, 9 (1): e87393
24498094
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the wind drift factor under strong tidal conditions in the western coastal area of Korea on the movement of oil slicks caused by the Hebei Spirit oil spill accident in 2007. The movement of oil slicks was computed using a simple simulation model based on the empirical formula as a function of surface current, wind speed, and the wind drift factor. For the simulation, the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC) model and Automatic Weather System (AWS) were used to generate tidal and wind fields respectively. Simulation results were then compared with 5 sets of spaceborne optical and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data. From the present study, it was found that highest matching rate between the simulation results and satellite imagery was obtained with different values of the wind drift factor, and to first order, this factor was linearly proportional to the wind speed. Based on the results, a new modified empirical formula was proposed for forecasting the movement of oil slicks on the coastal area.

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