Development of a Global Oil Spill Modeling System

  •  William B. Samuels    
  •  David E. Amstutz    
  •  Rakesh Bahadur    
  •  Christopher Ziemniak    


This paper describes the development of an oil spill modeling system that is operational on a global scale and can be used for both real-time response, forecast simulations and probabilistic risk analysis based on climatological wind and ocean current data. For ocean and estuarine spills, the system makes use of the General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME) oil spill model, Trajectory Analysis Planner and the Automated Data Inquiry for Oil Spills weathering model. Hydrodynamic and meteorological data is obtained from the US Navy and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Data access is provided through the Naval Oceanographic Office, the Fleet Numerical Meteorological and Oceanographic Center and the GNOME Online Oceanographic Data Server. For riverine spills, the GeoSpatial Stream Flow Model and the Incident Command Tool for Drinking Water Protection are used to respectively, build river networks with associated flows and velocities and, transport and disperse oil spill contamination downstream. Case study examples are presented for both forecast simulations and probabilistic risk analysis.

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