Oil spill and pollutant trajectory modelling

The wider domain Scottish Shelf Model (SSM), and particularly the finer resolution sub-models, resolve the complex flow around Scotland’s coastline and in the inner firths and sea lochs. They can, therefore, be used to provide the underlying flow fields for trajectory models used to predict the fate of oil spills, and other pollutants such as plastics, and to increase preparedness for potential oil spill and other environmental emergency scenarios. Marine Scotland have used a fine resolution model of the Moray Firth, forced by the wider SSM, to investigate the potential for an oil spill from proposed ship-to-ship oil transfer operations in the Cromarty Firth to impact the sensitive protected areas in the region (https://marine.copernicus.eu/services/use-cases/marine-scotland-oil-spill-response).  Although the SSM models are not currently run in forecasting (“operational”) mode, we are working on initiatives to develop such capability.

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