Multiphase CFD simulation of the nearshore spilled oil behaviors

Mohammadmehdi Raznahan, Chunjiang An, S. Samuel Li, Xiaolong Geng, Michel Boufadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Oil spills are a serious environmental problem. To better support risk assessment and pollution control for oil spills, a good understanding of oil transport in the environment is required. This study focused on the numerical simulation of the nearshore oil behaviors based on computational fluid dynamics. Based on the Navier-Stokes momentum equations for an incompressible viscous fluid and volume of fluid (VOF) method, a 3D numerical model of three-phase transient flow was developed. The wave number, averaged flow velocity and oil properties would affect the oil spread extent and the oil volume fraction. The higher the averaged flow velocity and wave number, the lower the oil concentration, and the faster the horizontal movement of the oil. The spilled oil may move to contact the seafloor by increasing the averaged flow velocity at the inlet boundary. Through increasing the wave number, the oil would stay near the water surface. In the nearshore, where the wave is the main seawater motion, the oil containment boom should be set preferentially to the direction of wave transmission for oil cleaning. This study shows that by doubling the wave number and increasing the averaged flow velocity (ten times) at the same time, the maximum oil volume fraction would be reduced by around 32%. Finally, the water temperature had no significant impact on the oil migration, and the impact of evaporation should be considered in the simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117730
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • CFD
  • Fate and transport of oil
  • Nearshore
  • Oil spill
  • Stokes second order theory


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