Despite such potentially high impacts, relatively little research effort has gone into understanding subsurface oil plumes in the deep ocean. In this study, we demonstrate the significance of this problem and offer potential solutions using a novel approach based on a leading-edge, high-resolution global ocean circulation model. We present examples demonstrating: (a) the importance of ocean circulation in the propagation of oil spills; and (b) likely circulation footprints for oil spills at four key locations in the Atlantic Ocean – the shelves of Brazil, the Gulf of Guinea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Faroe-Shetland Channel. For blowouts occurring at these locations, we show that strong seasonal and inter-annual variability of ocean circulation causes the oil spill trajectory to vary substantially – both in terms of its direction and spatial extent of the resulting contamination.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2017|
|Event||European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017 - Vienna, Austria|
Duration: 23 Apr 2017 → 28 Apr 2017
|Conference||European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017|
|Period||23/04/17 → 28/04/17|
Jacobs, Z., Popova, E. E., Hirschi, J. J-M., Coward, A. C., Yool, A., van-Gennip, S. J., ... Harrington-Missin, L. (2017). Using a global ocean circulation model to conduct a preliminary risk assessment of oil spills in the Atlantic. Poster session presented at European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017, Vienna, Austria.