Oil Spill Modeling for Improved Response to Arctic Maritime Spills

The Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) is a research center that provides support for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through various projects. ADAC is funding the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH’s) Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) and Center for Spills and Environmental Hazards (CSE) project entitled Oil Spill Modeling for Improved Response to Arctic Maritime Spills (AMSM). The project’s objectives are to identify the: current state-of-the-art Arctic maritime oil spill response and ice forecast modeling, potential integration of these models, and specific needs to be addressed to obtain models that will be functional and effective in the response time scales to improve decision-making during an incident and preparedness exercises. A workshop was held in December 2019 that included presentations from oil spill and ice modelers as well as responders. In addition, participants considered potential oil spill scenarios (well blowout under ice, pipeline spill under landfast ice, and a large vessel spill of combinations of oil in the shoulder season) and answered questions related to: responder needs that can be addressed by modeling, impacts of ice on response modeling, observational gaps, and potential updates needed for existing algorithms and process understanding. Four working groups of experts will be meeting during 2020 to discuss oil-in-ice interactions, new and existing technologies for filling data gaps for modeling, and improvements in visualization and uncertainty when communicating model results.

More information is available on CRRC’s website: https://crrc.unh.edu/AMSM_Arctic_Modeling