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A high-resolution operational forecast system for oil spill response in Belfast Lough

Ana J Abascal, Sonia Castanedo, Paula Núñez, Adam Mellor, Annika Clements, Beatriz Pérez, Mar Cárdenas, Helios Chiri, Raúl Medina
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2017 January 15, 114 (1): 302-314
27712860
This paper presents a high-resolution operational forecast system for providing support to oil spill response in Belfast Lough. The system comprises an operational oceanographic module coupled to an oil spill forecast module that is integrated in a user-friendly web application. The oceanographic module is based on Delft3D model which uses daily boundary conditions and meteorological forcing obtained from COPERNICUS and from the UK Meteorological Office. Downscaled currents and meteorological forecasts are used to provide short-term oil spill fate and trajectory predictions at local scales. Both components of the system are calibrated and validated with observational data, including ADCP data, sea level, temperature and salinity measurements and drifting buoys released in the study area. The transport model is calibrated using a novel methodology to obtain the model coefficients that optimize the numerical simulations. The results obtained show the good performance of the system and its capability for oil spill forecast.

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