Sea Discovery

ASA Helps Out on South Korean Oil Spill

OILMAP model simulation shows the oil spill fate and trajectory prediction by ASA that helped China aid Korea’s mitigation. The oil tanker Hebei Spirit, anchored 60 miles south of Seoul, was pierced by a crane-carrying barge, releasing 11.023 tons of crude oil into the sea.
The oil came ashore along a 186 miles stretch of shoreline on Korea’s west coast, a region that is a very active with fisheries. The spill resulted in blackened beaches, coated birds in oily tar and cast a foul smell over a nature reserve.
Korea’s neighbors in China offered support to Korea based on the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Northwest Pacific Action Plan. ASA’s OILMAP oil spill modeling response system is used in China and the Oil Spill Emergency Response Center of China's Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) asked ASA for support. Dr. Xiongping Zhang, ASA’s Asia Project Director, provided modeling services to predict the trajectory and fate of the spill right after the accident. OILMAP connects to ASA’s COASTMAP real-time environmental data server (EDS), which aggregates crucial Metocean data from various sources to increase the accuracy of the spill predictions. Dr. Zhang also answered the question to China MSA for potential impact of the spill to the China coast using OILMAP’s stochastic simulation based on the environmental data over the past twenty years.

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