Fate of MV Wakashio oil spill off Mauritius coast through modelling and remote sensing observations
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This study aims at assessing the fate of MV Wakashio oil spill, and the driving forces responsible for possible environmental consequences of polluted coastal region. GNOME simulations were performed, considering various meteo-oceanographic forcings such as (i) winds and currents, (ii) only winds, and (iii) only winds with different diffusion coefficients, and validated with the satellite images. The results revealed that the simulations performed with "only winds" reasonably match with the satellite observations, indicating that winds are the primary driving forces. The conducive stokes drift is an added contribution to the predominant northwestward drift of the spill. The oil budget analysis suggests that beaching and evaporation together accounted for a significant portion of the spilled oil (1000 tons), in which ~60% of the oil was accounted only for beaching. Our results depict that the diffusion coefficient of 100,000 cm2/s and 3% windages are optimal for oil-spill simulations off the southeastern Mauritius coast.
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