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Simulating pathways of subsurface oil in the Faroe–Shetland Channel using an ocean general circulation model

Simulating pathways of subsurface oil in the Faroe–Shetland Channel using an ocean general circulation model
Simulating pathways of subsurface oil in the Faroe–Shetland Channel using an ocean general circulation model
Little is known about the fate of subsurface hydrocarbon plumes from deep-sea oil well blowouts and their effects on processes and communities. As deepwater drilling expands in the Faroe–Shetland Channel (FSC), oil well blowouts are a possibility, and the unusual ocean circulation of this region presents challenges to understanding possible subsurface oil pathways in the event of a spill. Here, an ocean general circulation model was used with a particle tracking algorithm to assess temporal variability of the oil-plume distribution from a deep-sea oil well blowout in the FSC. The drift of particles was first tracked for one year following release. Then, ambient model temperatures were used to simulate temperature-mediated biodegradation, truncating the trajectories of particles accordingly. Release depth of the modeled subsurface plumes affected both their direction of transport and distance travelled from their release location, and there was considerable interannual variability in transport.
Oil spill, Blowout, Plumes, Pollution, GCM
0025-326X
315-326
Main, C.E.
0a5d6d23-b877-4767-8881-70b11847a14b
Yool, A.
882aeb0d-dda0-405e-844c-65b68cce5017
Holliday, N.P.
358b0b33-f30b-44fd-a193-88365bbf2c79
Popova, E.E.
3ea572bd-f37d-4777-894b-b0d86f735820
Jones, D.O.B.
44fc07b3-5fb7-4bf5-9cec-78c78022613a
Ruhl, H.A.
177608ef-7793-4911-86cf-cd9960ff22b6
Main, C.E.
0a5d6d23-b877-4767-8881-70b11847a14b
Yool, A.
882aeb0d-dda0-405e-844c-65b68cce5017
Holliday, N.P.
358b0b33-f30b-44fd-a193-88365bbf2c79
Popova, E.E.
3ea572bd-f37d-4777-894b-b0d86f735820
Jones, D.O.B.
44fc07b3-5fb7-4bf5-9cec-78c78022613a
Ruhl, H.A.
177608ef-7793-4911-86cf-cd9960ff22b6

Main, C.E., Yool, A., Holliday, N.P., Popova, E.E., Jones, D.O.B. and Ruhl, H.A. (2017) Simulating pathways of subsurface oil in the Faroe–Shetland Channel using an ocean general circulation model. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 114 (1), 315-326. (doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.09.041).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Little is known about the fate of subsurface hydrocarbon plumes from deep-sea oil well blowouts and their effects on processes and communities. As deepwater drilling expands in the Faroe–Shetland Channel (FSC), oil well blowouts are a possibility, and the unusual ocean circulation of this region presents challenges to understanding possible subsurface oil pathways in the event of a spill. Here, an ocean general circulation model was used with a particle tracking algorithm to assess temporal variability of the oil-plume distribution from a deep-sea oil well blowout in the FSC. The drift of particles was first tracked for one year following release. Then, ambient model temperatures were used to simulate temperature-mediated biodegradation, truncating the trajectories of particles accordingly. Release depth of the modeled subsurface plumes affected both their direction of transport and distance travelled from their release location, and there was considerable interannual variability in transport.

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Accepted/In Press date: 19 September 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 October 2016
Published date: 15 January 2017
Keywords: Oil spill, Blowout, Plumes, Pollution, GCM
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling, Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Biogeochemistry, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 400906
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/400906
ISSN: 0025-326X
PURE UUID: 17e20c05-1eef-4ae7-9677-0aa2abbc483a

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Sep 2016 15:30
Last modified: 09 Dec 2019 19:27

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