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By Pierre Daniel, Patrick Josse, Vincent Gouriou, Michel March and Claudine Tiercelin


two sections at about 30 miles from the Brittany coast in the Bay of Biscay, France. The two parts of the wreck sank a few hours after the break. Some 15,000 tons of heavy fuel were released into the marine environment. It is the most serious discharge that has occurred in France since 1980 (Tanio, 6,000 tons). The nature of the incident, the kind and quantity of oil spilled, and the prevailing weather conditions posed considerable response problems. The spilled oil drifted for 2 weeks before reaching the coast. Three different models were implemented by CEntre de Documentation de Recherche et d’Expérimentations sur les pollutions accidentelles des eaux (CEDRE) within a couple of hours of the Erika sinking. On December 14, it appeared that the forecast of the MOTHY model was closer to reality. The MOTHY model was developed by Météo-France (the French national weather service) to simulate the movement o

Year: 1999
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