Simulation of Trajectories of Tar Ball Transport to the Goa Coast
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Arrival of tar balls to the Goa coast during pre- and southwest monsoon seasons has been a regular phenomenon in the past few years. In one such event, we observed tar ball deposits along the Goa coast during August 2010, April 2011 and May 2011 when no oil spill was reported in the Arabian Sea (AS). The only source for the formation of tar balls could be the spill/tanker-wash from the tankers passing through the international tanker routes across the AS. Assuming this, an attempt has been made to simulate surface winds, currents and tar ball trajectories for August 2010 using hydrodynamics and particle tracking models. Tar ball particles were released numerically at eight locations in the AS, and five of them reached the Goa coast, matching reasonably well with the observations. The present study confirms our view that the source of these tar balls is the accidental spills or tanker-wash along the international oil tanker route in the AS. A review of the global scenario of tar ball study is also presented in the Introduction.
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