Evolution of droplets in subsea oil and gas blowouts: development and validation of the numerical model VDROP-J. Academic Article uri icon


  • The droplet size distribution of dispersed phase (oil and/or gas) in submerged buoyant jets was addressed in this work using a numerical model, VDROP-J. A brief literature review on jets and plumes allows the development of average equations for the change of jet velocity, dilution, and mixing energy as function of distance from the orifice. The model VDROP-J was then calibrated to jets emanating from orifices ranging in diameter, D, from 0.5 mm to 0.12 m, and in cross-section average jet velocity at the orifice ranging from 1.5 m/s to 27 m/s. The d50/D obtained from the model (where d50 is the volume median diameter of droplets) correlated very well with data, with an R(2)=0.99. Finally, the VDROP-J model was used to predict the droplet size distribution from Deepwater Horizon blowouts. The droplet size distribution from the blowout is of great importance to the fate and transport of the spilled oil in marine environment.

published proceedings

  • Mar Pollut Bull

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhao, L., Boufadel, M. C., Socolofsky, S. A., Adams, E., King, T., & Lee, K.

citation count

  • 115

complete list of authors

  • Zhao, Lin||Boufadel, Michel C||Socolofsky, Scott A||Adams, Eric||King, Thomas||Lee, Kenneth

publication date

  • January 2014