Numerical simulations of oil spill trajectories in the Danjiangkou Reservoir in China

Libin Chen, Zhifeng Yang, Haifei Liu, Chunhui Li


Oil spills in surface water happen each year in the world and significantly damage water quality and ecosystems. Numerical simulation of oil spill trajectories is helpful for risk assessment and risk controlling. Previous research for tracking oil spills generally focused on the sea, and not on the great reservoir. Danjiangkou Reservoir, the source reservoir of China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Middle Route Project, will flood impounded areas and raise the water to 170 m, a much higher level. The result will be convenient for waterway transportation, but it will also increase the risk of oil spills into the reservoir. In order to efficiently protect the reservoir’s water quality and ecosystem, a numerical simulation based, oil spill tracking model was developed and utilized for trajectory simulations of oil spills from five possible sites. Scenarios analysis method was applied to studding the effects of multiple environmental factors on the trajectories of oil parcels in the reservoir. The results indicated that initial water level, wind speed, wind direction and dam operation can obviously affect the spread trajectories of oil parcels in the reservoir. The results can be useful for risk assessment and risk controlling of the oil spills in the reservoir.

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