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Chemical spill moving through Songhua river towards Russia

30 Nov 2005   Chemical spill moving through Songhua river towards Russia


On 13 November 2005 an explosion at a chemical plant in Jilin City, China, generated a major spill of chemicals into the Songhua River. Benzene and nitrobenzene are the two major pollutants from the explosion and the contamination plume has subsequently been moving downstream towards Harbin City and further downstream towards the Russian boarder.

In 2004 the Songhua Water Resources Commission contracted a Consortium of DHI Water & Environment (DK), Mott MacDonald Ltd (UK) and the Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (China) to deliver a comprehensive flood management system for the Songhua River Basin. This work is now well in progress and a MIKE 11 simulation model of the catchment and river system is now established. This model will be further developed to provide a real-time flood forecasting system and a Decision Support System for the Songhua Water Resources Commission.

Following the spill of 13 November 2005 the MIKE 11 simulation model has been applied to simulate the movement of the pollution plume downstream of Jilin. The model has been able to simulate the arrival of the pollution at Harbin City very accurately, see Figure 1.

Nitrobenzene concentration at water intake in Harbin City
Figure 1 Nitrobenzene concentration at water intake in Harbin City

The model can also simulate the further movement of the pollution plume downstream of Harbin City towards the Russian boarder. It is predicted that the pollution plume will reach Heilongjiang (Amur River) close to the Russian boarder at 8 December 2005.

For further information please contact:

Qian-Ming Lu, Managing director DHI China, (lqm@dhi.dk) +45 45 16 93 51
Jacob Høst-Madsen, Head River & Flood Management (jhm@dhi.dk) +45 45 16 92 73