News: Model Predictions of Surface Oil Transport

2013/07/10 – Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
Study Evaluates Accuracy of 2010 Model Predictions for Oil Spill Movement


During the 2010 oil spill, emergency responders needed forecasts of where oil would go given different scenarios and weather conditions, not just information of current oil location. Forecasts had to account for this first-time situation of oil coming from a deep water source and thus, “the important processes that contribute to oil movement in deep water, on the continental shelf, and within the complex nearshore environment.” Forecasters used the coupled SWAN (Simulating Waves Nearshore) and ADCIRC (Advanced CIRCulation) models to simulate currents that accounted for tides, rivers, winds, and waves. They adjusted their models with data from Lagrangian particle tracking to simulate “short-term (less than 1 week) oil movement.”