Oil spill accident is very harmful to the coastal and marine ecology and mankind. The simulation and prediction of the transport and fade of spilled oil is one of the important issues to the oil spill contingency plans. Cellular Automata (CA) is one of the dynamic modeling tools easy to use. It usually divides the space into regular grid cells in 2D or 3D. And transformation functions according to physical, chemical and biological phenomena are set to define the dynamic process between local neighboring cells. Because the data structure of CA is very similar to the raster data model in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the CA model can be easily integrated with GIS to provide environmental database and to display the simulation results. The algorithm of a 3D CA model can be straightforwardly extended from those of 2D CA model. This paper used 3D CA model to simulate the spreading, evaporation, advection due to wind and current on the water surface, evaporation, shoreline deposition with islands and shorelines. The horizontal and vertical dispersion, advection in the water column and seabed sedimentation were also modeled by this 3D CA approach. Conservation of mass and many physical oil transport rules were used in the prediction model. Several simulation cases were applied in the area of 10km * 10km. The horizontal grids are divided into 100*100. And 5 layers in the water column are used in the maximum water depth of 50m. Islands, shorelines and water depth are also included in the simulation cases. It is proved 3D CA model is a capable and efficient way to simulate and predict the movement of the oil slick.
Because oil spill accidents happened very often in the last decades, the related tasks, such as: oil spill monitoring, prediction and management, became very important issues.