Oil spill model uncertainty quantification using an atmospheric ensemble

Kampouris, Konstantinos; Vervatis, Vassilios; Karagiorgos, John; Sofianos, Sarantis

We investigate the impact of atmospheric forcing uncertainties on the prediction of the dispersion of pollutants in the marine environment. Ensemble simulations consisting of 50 members were carried out using the ECMWF ensemble prediction system and the oil spill model MEDSLIK-II in the Aegean Sea. A deterministic control run using the unperturbed wind of the ECMWF high-resolution system served as reference for the oil spill prediction. We considered the oil spill rates and duration to be similar to major accidents of the past (e.g., the Prestige case) and we performed simulations for different seasons and oil spill types. Oil spill performance metrics and indices were introduced in the context of probabilistic hazard assessment. Results suggest that oil spill model uncertainties were sensitive to the atmospheric forcing uncertainties, especially to phase differences in the intensity and direction of the wind among members. An oil spill ensemble prediction system based on model uncertainty of the atmospheric forcing, shows great potential for predicting pathways of oil spill transport alongside a deterministic simulation, increasing the reliability of the model prediction and providing important information for the control and mitigation strategies in the event of an oil spill accident.



Kampouris, Konstantinos / Vervatis, Vassilios / Karagiorgos, John / et al: Oil spill model uncertainty quantification using an atmospheric ensemble. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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