From Bubbles to Beaches: An Integrated Modeling Approach to Oil Spill Response
- Additional Document Info
- View All
© 2018, Marine Technology Society Inc. All rights reserved. The BP-operated Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil rig blowout in April 2010 led to the release of about 700,000 tons of crude oil and 250,000 tons of gas into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) before it was capped. It also led, tragically, to 11 deaths and 16 injuries to people on the rig. This was the first deep, subsurface ocean spill in offshore oil exploration and posed many technical issues as a result. The GoM Research Initiative (GoMRI) was set up with funding provided by BP to improve the science for responding to future spills. Under GoMRI, the Gulf Integrated Spill Research (GISR) consortium was established to increase the understanding of how petroleum fluids in the ocean behave and improve the ability to predict what happens after a spill. GISR’s aim was to construct a multiscale nested model suite that covers scales from droplets to an ocean basin, validated by field and laboratory experiments. Thus, we can follow an oil drop from its first release to its arrival on a shoreline, taking into account natural rates of mixing, dissolution, evaporation, and degradation. This was needed, because during the spill, available models all tended to operate at different scales but did not interact. There are also a number of shallow bays along the northern GoM that are of great importance to local fisheries, and these were not included in existing models.
author list (cited authors)
Chapman, P., DiMarco, S., Hetland, R., & Socolofsky, S.