Development of a Framework to Simulate Storm Surge-Induced Aboveground Storage Tank Spills
Bedient, Philip B
Master of Science
This thesis introduces a modeling framework for simulating the surface trajectory of aboveground storage tank (AST) spills caused by flotation failure during storm surge events. A single tank failure can be catastrophic for neighboring residents, businesses, and wildlife as observed in the Murphy Oil spill during Hurricane Katrina. Presently, no modeling framework is available that can predict and simulate the advection of AST spills in a computationally efficient manner. To address this need, a loosely-coupled system of models is introduced here, which consists of a hydrodynamic model (SWAN+ADCIRC), an AST fragility model, and a Lagrangian particle tracking algorithm, to track spills on the order of minutes in a high-performance computing environment. The framework is applied to simulate spills in Galveston Bay, Texas and to evaluate the impact of storm surge mitigation on spill potential/trajectory. Findings indicate that spill location and bay geometry have strong controls on spill evolution. Additionally, the framework is versatile and can be used to calculate a variety of impact metrics. Finally, recommendations are made for future improvements to the framework. The ability to rapidly predict spill trajectory and impact can be a useful tool for emergency response deployment and sustainable engineering design.
Particle tracking; aboveground storage tank; storm surge