Presentation Abstract

Risk of oil spill within the Salish Sea has recently been highlighted by the construction of Canada’s Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Expansion Project, which is expected to increase oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Juan de Fuca by over 400 tankers per year. Complex circulation patterns in this high-energy fjord complicates the tracking of spills to aid both prevention and response. PNNL’s Salish Sea Model has been refined for over a decade and represents the leading hydrodynamic model for the region. In a recent project, the Salish Sea Model was paired with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Blowout and Spill Occurrence Model (BLOSOM) to recreate the 2003 Point Wells oil spill near Seattle, Washington. This was the first time that GNOME and BLOSOM were directly compared, highlighting differences in methodology and practice. Yet this was also an opportunity to optimize the Salish Sea Model for surface oil spills, understanding the specific challenges associated with the Salish Sea region. The challenges have been overcome and the Pt. Wells spill trajectory has been successfully reproduced. This project showcased the importance of correct hydrodynamics in a high-energy, enclosed estuary. Building on this experience equips the Salish Sea Model to inform planning and response activities that can protect vulnerable animals and habitat in this pristine environment.

Session Title

Posters: Vessel Traffic: Risk & Impacts

Keywords

oil spill, trajectory, Puget Sound, Pt. Wells, Gnome, BLOSOM

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-130

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Challenges with accurate tracking of oil spill trajectories within Puget Sound

Risk of oil spill within the Salish Sea has recently been highlighted by the construction of Canada’s Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Expansion Project, which is expected to increase oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Juan de Fuca by over 400 tankers per year. Complex circulation patterns in this high-energy fjord complicates the tracking of spills to aid both prevention and response. PNNL’s Salish Sea Model has been refined for over a decade and represents the leading hydrodynamic model for the region. In a recent project, the Salish Sea Model was paired with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Blowout and Spill Occurrence Model (BLOSOM) to recreate the 2003 Point Wells oil spill near Seattle, Washington. This was the first time that GNOME and BLOSOM were directly compared, highlighting differences in methodology and practice. Yet this was also an opportunity to optimize the Salish Sea Model for surface oil spills, understanding the specific challenges associated with the Salish Sea region. The challenges have been overcome and the Pt. Wells spill trajectory has been successfully reproduced. This project showcased the importance of correct hydrodynamics in a high-energy, enclosed estuary. Building on this experience equips the Salish Sea Model to inform planning and response activities that can protect vulnerable animals and habitat in this pristine environment.