Oil Spill Simulation and Validation in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf with Special Reference to the UAE Coast
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The use of numerical modeling in oil spill incidents is a well established technique that has proven to provide cost-effective and reasonable estimates of oil surface drift. Good predictability of such models depends highly on the quality of the input data of the incident and on the model calibration effort. This paper presents the results of simulating oil spillage trajectory in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf. The study employed a 3-D rectilinear hydrodynamic model combined with oil spill model. Typical representative environmental conditions of the Arabian Gulf were first setup into a hydrodynamic circulation model using data from various sources. The performance of the hydrodynamic model was then tested against measurements of tidal fluctuation and sea currents at selected locations. The spill analysis model was setup using the flow field produced from the hydrodynamic simulation and its performance was further validated against documented events of Al-Ahmadi historical oil spill crisis in the Gulf. The comparison of the actual and simulated oil spill drift was found reasonably acceptable allowing for further application in risk assessment studies in UAE Coastal water and in the entire Arabian Gulf as well.
KeywordsHydrodynamic modeling Oil spill modeling United Arab Emirates Al-Ahmadi
The authors would like to acknowledge the NOAA/NCEP Reanalysis for the data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/.
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