Fate of Dispersed Oil under Ice
Dispersion of oil using either chemical or mineral additives (dispersants) can be an effective way to enhance the natural biodegradation process to remove spilled oil from the marine environment. Research over several decades has shown that these additives can be as effective in near-freezing waters as they are in temperate waters when properly applied.
The use of dispersants can provide an oil spill response option with high encounter rates, high effectiveness and greater responder safety than mechanical response. A new approach for the use of dispersants – dispersant injection for well control events – provides an additional tool that enhances contingency planning for offshore operations. In many cases, including in the Arctic, dispersants could be the best response option to treat an oil spill before it has spread, broken apart, impacted marine mammals and birds, or stranded in sensitive environments.
One of the requirements for efficient dispersion is adequate mixing in the water column, allowing for a cloud of dispersed oil to dissipate rapidly and decrease in concentration. A key parameter is thus the level of turbulence to keep dispersed oil in the water column. The objective of this project is to develop a numerical model capable of predicting the fate of a dispersed oil plume that develops under ice, particularly the resurfacing potential for various scenarios (ice concentration, release type, environmental conditions, oil type, level of turbulence, etc).
Data and Resources
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