Author(s): Florence Henno; Alexander Goater; Matthew Wood; Doug Cresswell; Rowena Moore; Marie Pendle
Linked Author(s): Matthew Wood
Keywords: Oil spill; Modelling; Risk assessment; EIA; Validation
Abstract: Oil spills can be disastrous in terms of their ecological, social and economic effects. Recent global marine pollution events have demonstrated the potential scale of such incidents. Oil has the potential for accidental release into the marine environment across a range of operations, including coastal developments (ports, terminals, etc. ), as well as offshore activities (oil and gas exploration, shipping, etc. ). Accurate predictions of the fate and behaviour of sp illed oil are therefore important to support environmental studies, clean-up operations, and to inform risk assessments. This usually requires the use of computational models. Simulations rely on a range of model predictions–including detailed hydrodynamic and meteorological fields–as well as adequate representation of the properties and physics of the spilled oil. This paper presents the results of recent research carried out by HR Wallingford to establish best practice procedures for the assessment of the fate of spilled oil and its impact in coastal and offshore regions. An integrated framework for oil spill assessment is presented, using both established modelling tools and the newly-enhanced Lagrangian model OIL-RW. The study brings together expertise in coastal processes, metocean studies, the maritime industry and marine ecology. The model is demonstrated and validated using data for a real spill incident in coastal waters.