Drifters put through their paces
The accuracy of oil spill drift forecasts based solely on mathematical models is subject to uncertainty based on the approximations made when models are set up. TOSCA has shown that this uncertainty can be reduced with the help of live observation. TOSCA partners observed during the experiments that drifters can supply crucial data on currents and on the transport of oil-spills. Moreover, an optimal deployment of groups of several floating buoys provides information on dispersion and how long it takes for a slick to double in size. In that sense, drifters could enable authorities to focus search or clean-up operations within a more clearly defined area in the case of a maritime accident.
TOSCA system combines circulation models or drift models with observations of currents provided by HF radar and floating buoys.
The use of radar at the five test sites, alongside with models and floating buoys allows to evaluate the impact of forecast errors. This is done through the direct comparison of forecasts with currents observed.
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