Environment and ecosystems management, Marine and coast

Accidental oil spills giving you a headache? It’s time to plan ahead

Accidental oil spills remind us of the dramatic impacts that oil can have on the environment. They also bring into focus the importance of efficient emergency planning.

Oil spills pose serious threats to the marine environment. They create a lot of pressure on the entities that are responsible for the emergency response and clean-up operations, such as oil companies and national authorities.

What can be done to be better prepared about oil spills?

In order to be prepared, one has to be able to make an assessment of the potential environmental impact. In this context, an assessment of the effect of mitigation cleanup measures should be integrated.

One way to do so is through oil spill modelling.

Oil spill modelling simulates the trajectory of oil floating on the sea surface and/or oil dispersed into the water column. Model input is typically oil properties, spill amount, spill duration, and of course the prevailing Metocean and meteorological conditions. The spreading of oil is conveniently handled using a particle modelling approach where each particle has an associated oil mass and property, which can change as a result of weathering processes. This approach is however, not appropriate when the focus is on the fate of dissolved oil in the water column.

What should be included in an oil spill modelling product?

When looking out for an oil spill modelling software, you can’t go wrong with one that is used worldwide by the industry. The MIKE OS model is equipped with these highly relevant features and more:

  • movement of the oil on the surface and in the water column
  • movement of dissolved oil independently of non-dissolved oil
  • jet from a sub-sea blowout (oil and gas mix)
  • dynamic positioning of emergency equipment (booms, skimmers and dispersants
  • stranding with the possibility of re-entering the water
  • ice edge interaction with the possibility of reentering the water

Watch this video of oil spill results visualised in MIKE ANIMATOR:

Jared Eckroth / Proactima

Link up with us

To know more about the Oil Spill modelling capabilities in MIKE software, contact us at info@dhigroup.com