Prediction of oil spill trajectories in New York Harbor

Richard I. Hires, Lie Yauw Oey, George L. Mellor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Trajectories of surface oil slicks for various spill scenarios in New York Harbor were obtained as part of a preliminary feasibility study of the establishment of a crude oil receiving facility. The surface current distribution required for the trajectory predictions was found from a synthesis of two-dimensional numerical model predictions of vertically-averaged tidal currents and field observations. The predicted trajectories were highly sensitive to the time of release of the oil relative to the phase of the tidal current cycle at the spill site. For all but one scenario the oil spills were found to move through the harbor and finally into the ocean in time intervals ranging from 3 to 8 days. For one release site in the Arthur Kill for a particular tidal phase the predicted oil movement after 20 days failed to clean the harbor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-625
Number of pages41
JournalCivil Engineering for Practicing and Design Engineers
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1983


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