Oil dispersal modelling: reanalysis of the Rena oil spill using open-source modelling tools
Jones, H. F. E., Poot, M. T. S., Mullarney, J. C., de Lange, W. P., & Bryan, K. R. (2016). Oil dispersal modelling: reanalysis of the Rena oil spill using open-source modelling tools. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 50(1), 10–27. http://doi.org/10.1080/00288330.2015.1112819
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10203
Oil spill forecast modelling is typically used immediately after a spill to predict oil dispersal and promote mobilisation of more effective response operations. The aim of this work was to map oil dispersal after the grounding of the MV Rena on Astrolabe Reef and to verify the results against observations. Model predictions were broadly consistent with observed distribution of oil contamination. However, some hot spots of oil accumulation, likely due to surf-zone and rip current circulation, were not well represented. Additionally, the model was run with 81 differing wind conditions to show that the events occurring during the grounding represented the typical likely behaviour of an oil spill on Astrolabe Reef. Oil dispersal was highly dependent on prevailing wind patterns; more accurate prediction would require better observations of local wind patterns. However, comparison of predictions with observations indicated that the GNOME model was an effective low-cost approach.
Royal Society of New Zealand
This is an author’s submitted version of an article published in the journal: New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. © 2016 The Royal Society of New Zealand.