An oil fate model for shallow-waters

Juan M. Restrepo, Jorge M. Ramírez, Shankar Venkataramani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We introduce a model for the dynamics of oil in suspension, appropriate for shallow waters, including the nearshore environment. This model is capable of oil mass conservation and does so by evolving the oil on the sea surface as well as the oil in the subsurface. The shallower portion of the continental shelf poses compounding unique modeling challenges. Many of these relate to the complex nature of advection and dispersion of oil in an environment in which wind, waves, as well as currents all play a role, as does the complex bathymetry and the nearshore geography. In this study we present an overview of the model as well as derive the most fundamental of processes, namely, the shallow water advectiion and dispersion processes. With regard to this basic transport, we superate several fundamental challenges associated with creating a transport model for oil and other buoyant pollutants, capable of capturing the dynamics at the large spatio-temporal scales demanded by environmental and hazard mitigation studies. Some of the strategies are related to dimension reduction and upscaling, and leave discussion of these to companion papers. Here we focus on wave-filtering, ensemble and depth-averaging. Integral to the model is the proposal of an ocean dynamics model that is consistent with the transport. This ocean dynamics model is detailed here. The ocean/oil transport model is applied to a couple of physically-inspired oil-spill problems in demonstrate its specialized capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1504-1543
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Nearshore
  • Ocean oil fate model
  • Ocean pollution
  • Oil advection
  • Oil dispersion
  • Oil slick
  • Oil transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An oil fate model for shallow-waters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this