Evaluation of Numerical Modeling Methods for the Management of Produced Water Discharges in the Coastal Region with a Canadian Case Study

Lin Zhao, Zhi Chen, Kenneth Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aims at evaluating two numerical methods for 3D simulation of marine pollutant dispersion problems: the random walk particle tracking (RWPT) method and an explicit second-order finite difference method (FDM) for assessing produced water discharges from offshore oil platform. Test cases in a steady flow field were used to evaluate the efficiency and accuracy of simulating pollutant concentration profiles obtained using both the FDM and RWPT method in comparison with an analytical solution. Additionally, a field study was conducted to simulate the lead concentration distribution of produced water discharged from an oil platform off Canada's east coast, based on the Princeton Ocean Model modeling the ocean flow in the study area with field verifications. Results indicate that, with proper configuration of grid resolution and particle resolution, both FDM and RWPT method can provide accurate results with reasonable computational costs for complex field cases. Particularly, the satisfactory 3D simulations of marine pollutant dispersion in the far field by both FDM and RWPT numerical methods enable effective assessment and management of offshore waste discharges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Modeling and Assessment
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)

Keywords

  • Finite difference
  • Numerical 3D modeling
  • Pollutant dispersion
  • Produced water discharges
  • Random walk

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