The purpose of this paper is to describe the SAMSON model that was used within Area Risk Assessment methodology, developed for Transport Canada, to determine the Frequency of Spill for four pilot areas in Canadian waters.

The SAMSON model used AIS information model marine traffic and included various environmental data (currents and wind), preventative measures in place (tugs, traffic separation schemes, pilotage and VTMS) and volumes and types of oil being transported (including cargo oil and bunker oil). The vessel records contained in the AIS data were classified into one of 42 different ship types based on the design and purpose of the ship from small work boats or tugs to the largest super tankers and incorporated into a traffic database. The model was run in four pilot areas to determine the location and frequency of marine accidents that include: Collisions, Allisions, Groundings, Fire/Explosions, Hull Damages and Founderings.

Once the known locations and frequency of marine accidents were determined, the frequency and volume of oil spilled were modelled. The likelihood of spill was calculated using a model that determined the frequency of the hull being penetrated as a result of the accident. Then the frequency and volume of outflow were determined. The volume of outflow is divided into 8 spill size classes that range from spills <0.01m3 up to the complete loss of the largest super tanker. The model gives both individual frequencies for all the accident types and oil spills for each of the 42 ship classes as well as the total frequency for the area under study. The results of the model are presented in a series of heat maps that illustrate the frequency and size of various ship-source spills. The results of the model were then validated against Canadian marine accident data.

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For more information contact Thomas Lloyd.