Proposed Abstract Title

Drift cards in the Salish Sea and beyond: observation meets modeling.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Fossil Fuel Export Through the Salish Sea- Impacts of Trains and Ships

Location

2016SSEC

Description

The Salish Sea Spill Map project involved the deployment of over 4,000 drift cards (4x6” small pieces of plywood) over 2 years. This project builds on the many thousands of drifters deployed in Washington for various purposes. Previous to this study, there was a paucity of drifter studies in the Canadian waters of the Salish Sea. Deployment locations were selected along the shipping route from Vancouver to near Race Rocks, including one drop location about 30km upstream from the Strait of Georgia on the Fraser River. To date, nearly 2,000 cards have been recovered from throughout the Salish Sea, and further afield along the west coast of Vancouver Island, central and northern British Columbia, Haida Gwaii and Alaska. This project had a number of goals, including comparing real world observational data with oil spill models and known oceanographic patterns, and improving our understanding of local or regional “hot spots” that appear to be at higher risk of receiving pollutants by ocean. Analysis of the recoveries provides insight into both oil spill modeling and our current understanding of larger scale ocean circulation patterns in the Salish Sea and beyond. By looking at time-frame and distribution of the recoveries, and tidal and weather patterns, we can also make inferences to individual card trajectories. As oil spill modeling is not often publicly available, this project is also a good example of a relatively simple and cost-effective study that can add information to planning processes, while providing a platform for citizen engagement.

Comments

The project website is: www.salishseaspillmap.org

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Drift cards in the Salish Sea and beyond: observation meets modeling.

2016SSEC

The Salish Sea Spill Map project involved the deployment of over 4,000 drift cards (4x6” small pieces of plywood) over 2 years. This project builds on the many thousands of drifters deployed in Washington for various purposes. Previous to this study, there was a paucity of drifter studies in the Canadian waters of the Salish Sea. Deployment locations were selected along the shipping route from Vancouver to near Race Rocks, including one drop location about 30km upstream from the Strait of Georgia on the Fraser River. To date, nearly 2,000 cards have been recovered from throughout the Salish Sea, and further afield along the west coast of Vancouver Island, central and northern British Columbia, Haida Gwaii and Alaska. This project had a number of goals, including comparing real world observational data with oil spill models and known oceanographic patterns, and improving our understanding of local or regional “hot spots” that appear to be at higher risk of receiving pollutants by ocean. Analysis of the recoveries provides insight into both oil spill modeling and our current understanding of larger scale ocean circulation patterns in the Salish Sea and beyond. By looking at time-frame and distribution of the recoveries, and tidal and weather patterns, we can also make inferences to individual card trajectories. As oil spill modeling is not often publicly available, this project is also a good example of a relatively simple and cost-effective study that can add information to planning processes, while providing a platform for citizen engagement.