Forecast of oil slick drift from Ulysse/ CSL Virginia and Grande America accidents

Type Article
Date 2021-05
Language English
Author(s) Daniel Pierre1, Paradis Denis1, Gouriou Vincent2, Le Roux Anne2, Garreau PierreORCID3, Le Roux Jean-FrancoisORCID3, Louazel Stephanie4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Meteo-France, DirOP/MAR, 42 avenue Coriolis, F-31057 Toulouse Cedex, France
2 : Cedre, 715 rue Alain Colas - CS 41836, 29218 BREST Cedex 2, France
3 : Ifremer, ZI Pointe du Diable, CS 10070, 29280 PLOUZANÉ, France
4 : Shom, CS 92803, 29228 BREST CEDEX 2, France
Meeting International Oil Spill Conference
Source IOSC Poceedings (2169-3358), 2021-05 , Vol. 2021 , N. 1 , P. 1141410 (19p.)
DOI https://doi.org/10.7901/2169-3358-2021.1.1141410
Abstract

Two recent accidents with a significant oil spill occurred near the French coast. One in the Mediterranean Sea and the other in the Bay of Biscay.

On October 7, 2018, the Tunisian ro-ro vessel Ulysses collided with the Cypriot container ship CSL Virginia at anchor off northern Corsica. The spilled bunker oil could not be fully recovered by the French and Italian anti-pollution vessels due to unfavourable weather conditions. Pellets and highly viscous patties arrived on the beaches of the French Riviera on October 16, 2018. The beaching dates and locations of the main slicks were perfectly predicted using the MOTHY drift model combined with the currents of the CMEMS MED-Currents system.

On March 12, 2019, the merchant ship Grande America sank at a depth of 4600 m, 350 km off the French coast, in the Bay of Biscay. It caused a spill of bunker oil and loss of containers. The MOTHY drift model is used daily during the aerial surveillance and recovery at sea period. It provides drift forecasts for oil slicks and containers up to 3 days in deterministic mode and up to 10 days in probabilistic mode. Long-term modelling of residual diffused pollution is also carried out, in particular to manage continuous leakage from the wreck. A technical committee of experts meets daily to evaluate drift observations and forecasts. It focuses on the best choices of available ocean models. Drift forecasts did not indicate any oil arrival to the coast. This allowed the authorities to organise the response at sea without mobilising resources ashore. Indeed, no pollution was observed on the coasts.

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