Mathematical Modeling of a Hydrocarbon Spill on the Ice Cover of Lake Fryxell, Antarctica

TitleMathematical Modeling of a Hydrocarbon Spill on the Ice Cover of Lake Fryxell, Antarctica
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsKarnovic, M, Carey, AE, Bair, SE, van der Veen, C
AdvisorW Lyons, B
Academic DepartmentGeological Sciences
Number of Pages114
Date Published06/2005
UniversityThe Ohio State University
Thesis Typemasters

Numerous perennially ice-covered lakes exist in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica. Ice cover melting on these lakes and meltwater infiltration are important processes affecting the ecology of these lakes. The three lakes in Taylor Valley, Lakes Bonney, Fryxell and Hoare, have been investigated since 1993 as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (MCM LTER) site. A Bell 212 helicopter flying in support of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Research Program crashed on the frozen surface of Lake Fryxell on January 17, 2003. This resulted in the release of approximately 731 Liters (193 gallons) of diesel fuel and amounts of engine oil and hydraulic fluid. Two physically based models are developed that simulate heat, meltwater flow and solute transport. The first is a transient, one-dimensional, thermodynamic model, which can predict the temperature distribution in the ice cover, melting rate at the surface and at the bottom of ice cover, and ice thickness. The second model simulates unsaturated flow and solute transport and is used to estimate water content distribution and solute transport through the ice cover. The validation of heat transport model was accomplished by comparing model results with the original measurements of ice temperature at various depth in Lake Fryxell. Because of lack of the field data, validation of the unsaturated flow and solute transport model couldn't been accomplished, instead of model validation, programming code has been verified by comparing results with results generated by the HYDRUS 1D software, developed by U.S. Salinity Laboratory, USDA.