• Spilled Oil
  • Because spilled oil becomes miscible with sea water and highly viscous by the action of waves, its residual possibility around the beach becomes very high, once it drifts ashore. This results in long-term damage to the environment as well as to marine and human life.

  • Blowout of gas
  • Once gas blows out from seabed by an accident of subsea oil production system or by a seismic activity and subsea landslide in the area of ample reserves of methane hydrate in the sea, it seriously damages not only ships and airplanes, but also natural environment.

    Oil and gas spilled from seabed

  • When, where and how much do the spilled oil and gas float up on the sea surface?
  • Where does the floating oil on the sea surface drift ashore?
  • --> We need information of advection, diffusion and dispersion of underwater oil and gas, and its prediction.

    Drifting of spilled oil on sea surface

  • To prevent oil spills from spreading and causing further damage over wider areas and over time, the spilled oil must be recovered while it is still drifting on the sea surface.
  • An oil drifting simulation must be carried out to determine where the spilled oil will wash ashore and to adequately deploy oil recovery machines before this occurs.
  • --> We need the information on the exact location of the drifting oil and the meteorological and oceanographic data around it transmitted in real time so that oil recovery operations can be smoothly coordinated and adequate measures can be taken at coastal areas using information obtained from the oil drifting simulation enhanced by data assimilation.

    Academic Issues

  • Real time sensing at sea of phenomena not only in multiscale including hydrate formation, dissociation and dissolution, and also convection, diffision and dispertion of oil and gas, and but also in multipysics including thermodynamics and hydrodynamics on gas behavior
  • High-accuracy prediction of oil drifting on the free suface enhanced by data assimilation
  • Objectives

    (1) Autonomous tracking and monitoring of spilled plumes of oil and gas from seabed by an underwater buoy robot,
    (2) Autonomous tracking of spilled oil on sea surface and transmission of useful data to a land station through satellites in real time by multiple floating buoy robots,
    (3) Improvement of the accuracy of simulation for predicting unsteady behavior of spilled oil and gas by incorporating the real time data from these robots.

    Deepwater Horizon in flames after the explosion off the coast of Louisiana(2010)
    Total amount of spilled oil reached about 0.78 million KL from the water depth of 1522m.

    Oil spill accident by Russian tanker "Nakhodka" off Mikuni, Fukui Prefecture, Japan(1997)
    Amount of 6,240 KL of C heavy oil was spilled from the tanker.
    Kato Laboratory
    Dept. of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
    Graduate School of Engineering Osaka University
    2-1, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, JAPAN
    TEL:+81-(6)6879-7579 FAX:+81-(6)6879-7594