Articles | Volume 7, issue 6
Research article
29 Nov 2011
Research article |  | 29 Nov 2011

Usefulness of high resolution coastal models for operational oil spill forecast: the "Full City" accident

G. Broström, A. Carrasco, L. R. Hole, S. Dick, F. Janssen, J. Mattsson, and S. Berger

Abstract. Oil spill modeling is considered to be an important part of a decision support system (DeSS) for oil spill combatment and is useful for remedial action in case of accidents, as well as for designing the environmental monitoring system that is frequently set up after major accidents. Many accidents take place in coastal areas, implying that low resolution basin scale ocean models are of limited use for predicting the trajectories of an oil spill. In this study, we target the oil spill in connection with the "Full City" accident on the Norwegian south coast and compare operational simulations from three different oil spill models for the area. The result of the analysis is that all models do a satisfactory job. The "standard" operational model for the area is shown to have severe flaws, but by applying ocean forcing data of higher resolution (1.5 km resolution), the model system shows results that compare well with observations. The study also shows that an ensemble of results from the three different models is useful when predicting/analyzing oil spill in coastal areas.