Oil spill modeling in East Mediterranean

Onay M. G., Pehlivanoğlu Mantaş E., Martins F.

JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURE OF GAZI UNIVERSITY, vol.35, no.4, pp.1737-1750, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In this study, three dimensional hydrodynamic and transportation model, MOHID, was used to simulate oil spill. East Mediterranean Region which contains strategically important refineries and filling stations for Turkey was selected and ship accident scenarios were created for 3 locations around Mersin and Iskenderun where vessel traffic is heavy. The model which calculates the spread of the oil spill without taking the weathering processes into account, validated by comparison of the data obtained by the model and data collected by the drifter released at the cost of Mersin in March 2014, in scope of Coriolis Project. This study used non-constant wind direction and speed data which were taken from real data representing different seasons. In case of an accident in summer, oil pollution will move towards the inside of the bay. At two accident locations in Iskenderun Bay, Iskenderun and Dortyol districts and for the accident location around Mersin, coast of Kazanli district will be exposed to oil pollution. For winter conditions, the model outputs suggest that the pollution will move towards to mouth of the bay and it will affect a long stretch of the coastline around Iskenderun if no precautions are taken. For Mersin Area, oil pollution will spread parallel to the coastline and at the end of four days, it will reach Erdemli district. Taking the velocity of the oil spreading into consideration, these results suggest that estimating the route of oil pollution prior to any probable accident, for different seasons and locations, may enable a fast emergency response during an actual accident and prevent the spread of pollution over larger areas.