Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 413–428 | Cite as

Particle-tracking simulation for the drift/diffusion of spilled oils in the Sea of Okhotsk with a three-dimensional, high-resolution model

  • Jun OnoEmail author
  • Kay I. Ohshima
  • Keisuke Uchimoto
  • Naoto Ebuchi
  • Humio Mitsudera
  • Hajime Yamaguchi
Original Article


To conduct the simulation of oil spills in the Sea of Okhotsk, we developed a three-dimensional, high-resolution ocean circulation model. The model particularly improved the reproducibility of velocity field during the strong stratification period. Particle-tracking experiments with the effects of evaporation and biodegradation were performed using the combined data of daily ocean currents from the present model and the hourly diurnal tidal currents from the tidal model. The results are shown by the relative concentration of the particles averaged over the 8 years of 1998–2005 based on the ensemble forecast idea. For the case of particles released from the Sakhalin II oil field, the particles deployed in September–January are carried southward by the East Sakhalin Current, finally arriving at the Hokkaido coast, after 60–90 days. The particles deployed in March–August are diffused offshore by the synoptic wind drift, and hardly transported to regions south of Sakhalin. For the case of particles released from the region off Prigorodnoye, the oil export terminal, after the diffusion by the synoptic wind drift, a part of them are carried offshore of Hokkaido by the Soya Warm Current. The particles released in November–April flow out to the Japan Sea through the Soya Strait, mainly by the synoptic wind drift and secondly by the diffusion due to strong tidal currents around the Soya Strait. By considering the effects of evaporation and biodegradation, the relative concentration of the particles is considerably decreased before arriving at the Hokkaido coast, particularly in the case of drift from the Sakhalin II oil field.


Sea of Okhotsk East Sakhalin Current Soya Warm Current Spilled oil Particle-tracking experiment 



We would like to thank Masaaki Wakatsuchi for his encouragement and Daisuke Simizu for his advice and support. We also thank Akira Kurokawa of the Engineering Advancement Association of Japan (ENAA) and Naoki Nakazawa of the Systems Engineering Associates, Inc. for their supports. Comments by the editor and anonymous two reviewers helped improve the paper. This study was supported by ENAA. All the simulations were calculated by HITACHI SR-11000 supercomputer at the Hokkaido University Computing Center.


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Ono
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kay I. Ohshima
    • 3
  • Keisuke Uchimoto
    • 4
  • Naoto Ebuchi
    • 3
  • Humio Mitsudera
    • 3
  • Hajime Yamaguchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoKashiwa, ChibaJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Polar ResearchTachikawa, TokyoJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporo, HokkaidoJapan
  4. 4.Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the EarthKizugawa, KyotoJapan

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