Numerical Simulation of Oil Spill Behavior in the Persian Gulf

Document Type: Original Research Paper


School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The aim of this research is to simulate oil spill behavior in the Persian Gulf due to the wind and
tidal currents. This is achieved by coding an oil spill mathematical model consisting of several major submodels including hydrodynamic model, oil slick dynamic model and oil weathering model. The base of all of them is Eulerian approach and they are coupled together to simulate spill incident in the Persian Gulf. The
hydrodynamic model provided to simulate the tidal current is based on two dimensional depth averaged
equations of shallow water discretized by finite volume method that is applied on rectangular structured mesh. The tidal current in the Gulf is made by imposing tidal fluctuation to the main open boundary at the Hormuz Strait. This model verification is carried out by comparison the resultant predictions of model with the available measured data and it shows a good agreement. Oil slick transport on the sea surface is simulated by an advection-diffusion model. Also, the most effective natural processes on oil fate and their effect on oil properties are estimated by an oil weathering model. Then, a test case including analytical solution is chosen to ensure the model capability on oil spill simulation. Finally, the model is implemented for a spillage event in the Persian Gulf. By explanation of the presented results, oil fate, the slick transport and other predicted data are demonstrated. The results show the model capability on modelling of an oil spill incident in marine environment.