Application of Flow Duration Analysis in River Oil Spill Management

Babatunde Anifowose, Damian Lawler, Dan van der Horst, Lee Chapman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Oil spills pose significant environmental risks to river resources and ecosystem services, particularly at Pipeline River crossing locations. Flow duration curves (FDC) can provide useful information for water resource and environmental managers to support mainly river oil spill contingency planning and possibly, response efforts. Yet, no study appears to have explored the potentials of flow duration analysis in managing river oil spills. Therefore, this paper addresses this gap using river discharge Q (m 3 s -1) time-series data (1914 to 2008) at Lokoja (on the River Niger - one of the world's largest river systems) to explore: (a) the percent of time a given flow is equaled or exceeded per annum; and (b) its implication for river oil spill management. The log cycle analysis technique was used to design the FDC. Ln regression involving the plotting of mean velocity (m s -1) against mean Q at Lokoja was used to interpret possible implications of Q percentiles (i.e. Q 5, Q 25, Q 50, Q 75, Q 95) from the FDC. Result suggests the exceedance probability of flows as follows: 'very high flows' -18 days, 'high flows' -91 days, 'medium flows' -183 days, 'low flows' -274 days, and 'very low flows' -347 days year-1. Based on the Q percentiles, estimated oil travel times (km hr -1) were suggested as 7.32, 5.11, 3.31, 2.56 and 0.58 respectively. These are vital information for effective contingency planning, boom deployment and the safeguard of downstream resources. As part of contingency planning, the results could provide details on the type/quantity of response materials that may be needed for different flow magnitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Thirty-fifth AMOP Technical Seminar on Environmental Contamination and Response.
Place of PublicationOttawa, Canada.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
EventAMOP Technical Seminar on Environmental Contamination and Response - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 5 Jun 20127 Jun 2012
Conference number: 35


ConferenceAMOP Technical Seminar on Environmental Contamination and Response
Abbreviated titleAMOP 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Application of Flow Duration Analysis in River Oil Spill Management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this