Water pollution is a serious problem affecting rivers, seas, oceans and natural water resources. Pollution can be caused by human activities or as undesired consequence of an incident or natural disaster. The prediction of the propagation direction of contamination could support the decontamination activities in order to be more effective. By considering the disastrous effects on fauna and flora, attention is paid on oily contaminants, such as petroleum and oils, in sea and ocean. Such contaminants can be even not-visible at naked eye. In this paper, the authors describe a revised model to predict the wave propagation direction so to evaluate the pollutant propagation. The model is based on the directional wave analysis. A buoy network equipped with altimeters is used to measure the instantaneous sea surface elevation. Time series measurements are processed to evaluate the directional wave spectrum. Consequently, the propagation angle of wave, and therefore the pollutant propagation, is predicted. The measurement uncertainty contribution is computed in order to optimize the estimation of the wave propagation direction. © 2016 IMEKO-International Measurement Federation Secretariat.
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