Oil spill models are used worldwide to simulate the evolution of an oil slick that occurs after an accidental ship collision or during oil extraction or other oil tanker activities. The simulation of the transport and fate of an oil slick in the sea, by evaluating the physicochemical processes that take place between oil phase and the water column, is the base for the recognition and assessment of its environmental effects. Numerous oil spill dispersion models exist in the bibliography. The contribution of this chapter is the introduction of a 3D oil slick simulation model developed by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, which has been recurrently used in different updated forms and applied in operational mode, since 1991 when it was originally created. The model has been tested in various hypothetical scenarios in North Aegean Sea, Greece, and responded with great success. Findings of the present study highlight the existing experience on the subject and denote the applicability of such models in either tracing the source of a spill or in predicting its path and spread, thus proving their value in real-time crisis management.
Part of the book: Monitoring of Marine Pollution