FROM BLOWOUT TO BEACH: AN INTEGRATED MODELING APPROACH Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • ABSTRACT As part of the response to the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, we have been funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to construct a nested model suite that can follow an oil particle from its first release to its arrival on a shoreline, taking into account natural rates of mixing and degradation of the oil components. The model suite incorporates (at increasing levels of resolution) a coupled ocean-atmosphere model of the full Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic Ocean, a deep Gulf of Mexico model, a regional model of the Texas-Louisiana shelf, a 3D, non-hydrostatic bay model, a 3D Navier-Stokes model of the spill plume, and a particle tracking and transformation model for dispersed and dissolved oil and gas fate and transport integrated within the full flow domain. The models are supported by a series of laboratory and field experiments, including studies of single droplets, with and without dispersant, plumes, a deep-sea tracer release experiment and bubble releases to simulate an underwater blowout. The laboratory experiments will improve modeling of small-scale, near-field processes such as bubble and droplet formation, dissolution, droplet-turbulence interaction, and evaporation and dispersion at the air-sea interface. We show how the models are linked and how we are making progress towards the complete nested model suite, which will be available for use in future spills.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chapman, P., Socolofsky, S., & Hetland, R.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • May 2014