Fast prediction of the evolution of o il penetration into the soil immediately after an accidental spillage for rapid-response purposes

TitleFast prediction of the evolution of o il penetration into the soil immediately after an accidental spillage for rapid-response purposes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsGrimaz S, Allen S, Stewart J, Dolcetti G
JournalChemical Engineering Transactions
Volume13
Pagination227-234
ISBN Number978-88-95608-07-5
Abstract

Accidents involving spillages of oil onto the ground surface have the potential to create
serious problems in terms of both soil and groundwater contamination. If appropriate
emergency actions can be taken immediately after the spillage occurs, then any potential
damage and future remediation costs can be limited. Estimation of the approximate time
at which the oil will reach the groundwater is very important for emergency response.
In this paper, we present a rapi d, simplified technique for predicting the evolution of oil
penetration into soil after an accidental spillage onto the ground. In particular, the
proposed model is suitable for calculating the maximum potential penetration depth,
both in the period immediately after the spill, and over the subsequent few hours. In the
method, surface spreading, surface evaporation and seepage mechanisms of the spilt oil
are taken into consideration. The method could be used as a decision support tool by
emergency services, helping to determine the most appropriate response for individuai
incidents. An example of an application is presented and the influence of various
environmental and geological parameters is discussed.