The sensitivity of the surface oil signature to subsurface dispersant injection and weather conditions
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMarine Pollution Bulletin. 2018, 127 175-181. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.067
Subsea blowouts have the potential to spread oil across large geographical areas, and subsea dispersant injection (SSDI) is a response option targeted at reducing the impact of a blowout, especially reducing persistent surface oil slicks. Modified Weber scaling was used to predict oil droplet sizes with the OSCAR oil spill model, and to evaluate the surface oil volume and area when using SSDI under different conditions. Generally, SSDI reduces the amount of oil on the surface, and creates wider and thinner surface oil slicks. It was found that the reduction of surface oil area and volume with SSDI was enhanced for higher wind speeds. Overall, given the effect of SSDI on oil volume and weathering, it may be suggested that tar ball formation, requiring thick and weathered oil, could possibly be reduced when SSDI is used.