Modelling of oil thickness in the presence of an ice edge
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonMarine Pollution Bulletin. 2020, 156 111229-?. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111229
Oil slick thickness is a key parameter for the behaviour of oil spilled at sea. It influences evaporation and entrainment, viable response options, and the risk to marine life at the surface. Determining this value is therefore of high relevance in oil spill modelling. In open water, oil can spread as thin films due to gravity alone, and may be further dispersed by horizontal diffusion and differential advection. In the presence of ice, however, a thin oil slick may become concentrated to higher thickness, if compressed against the ice edge. In the present study, we develop a simple model for the thickness of oil forced against a barrier by a current. We compare our theory to flume experiments, and obtain reasonable agreement. We describe an implementation in a Lagrangian oil spill model, and present some examples. We discuss the operational applicability, and suggest further research needs.