Oil drift models - what are they for?

Drop oil in to a glass of water and you notice that they do not mix. Drop oil in to water in nature, add wind, current and temperature, and then you have quite a cocktail. And there is no telling where the oil will end up. Or is there?

Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET) is an expert on oil drift models. These models are needed in order to determine the path of an oil spillage, where does the wind, current and other factors carry the oil in case of an oil spill. And this information is essential, as oil spill response is organised, especially in the Arctic areas, where the distances are long. It might not make sense to send the responders to the place of spillage, if you have to travel for hours and hours to get to there. The oil might have moved or spread far away from the original place of the oil spill. That's where you should be heading...

Knut-Frode Dagestad from MET is the brains behind the open source OpenDrift model. He gave a presentation of OpenDrift and the model itself in the Oil spills in the Arctic conference in Oulu. Have a look at his presentation below or visit the website of the OpenDrift to learn more about it and oil drift models in general.