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Lagrangian dispersion and oil spills : with a case study in the Eastern Mediterranean

Gina Fifani 1
1 PROTEO - Processus et interactions de fine échelle océanique
LOCEAN - Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentations et Approches Numériques
Abstract : Due to their dire impacts on marine life, public health, and services, accidental oil spills require an immediate response. Effective action starts with a good knowledge of the ocean dynamics prevailing in the contaminated region. The Lagrangian approach has been proposed as a supportive tool in marine pollution management. The goal of this thesis is to use and develop Lagrangian tools to analyze two oil spill events extending on a scale smaller than that of the DeepWater Horizon oil spill. These are an offshore East China sea oil spill (2018) and a near-coast East Mediterranean accident (2021). The calculation of Lagrangian fronts have been more robust and more informative on the dispersion pathways than the direct advection of a numerical tracer. The inclusion of the wind effect is also found to be essential, being capable of suddenly breaking Lagrangian fronts. A new technique is also proposed, rooted in the Lyapunov theory, by which the drifting speed of a Lagrangian front can be estimated based on near real-time information alone. This information allows to predict the Lagrangian front future location over a few days and to study frontal drifting speeds at global and Mediterranean scales. A further contribution to a Lagrangian experiment in the Mediterranean highlights the Lagrangian shortcoming of nadir altimetry and the need for future altimetry missions like SWOT.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 6:50:47 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 14, 2022 - 3:21:08 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03523677, version 1


Gina Fifani. Lagrangian dispersion and oil spills : with a case study in the Eastern Mediterranean. Oceanography. Sorbonne Université, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021SORUS243⟩. ⟨tel-03523677⟩



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