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Review

Oil Spill Modeling: A Critical Review on Current Trends, Perspectives, and Challenges

1
Laboratory of Ecological Engineering and Technology, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67100 Xanthi, Greece
2
Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics, Heraklion, 71113 Crete, Greece
3
ORION Research, 1076 Nicosia, Cyprus
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Puspa L. Adhikari
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9020181
Received: 28 December 2020 / Revised: 27 January 2021 / Accepted: 30 January 2021 / Published: 10 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation of Marine Oil Pollution)
Several oil spill simulation models exist in the literature, which are used worldwide to simulate the evolution of an oil slick created from marine traffic, petroleum production, or other sources. These models may range from simple parametric calculations to advanced, new-generation, operational, three-dimensional numerical models, coupled to meteorological, hydrodynamic, and wave models, forecasting in high-resolution and with high precision the transport and fate of oil. This study presents a review of the transport and oil weathering processes and their parameterization and critically examines eighteen state-of-the-art oil spill models in terms of their capacity (a) to simulate these processes, (b) to consider oil released from surface or submerged sources, (c) to assimilate real-time field data for model initiation and forcing, and (d) to assess uncertainty in the produced predictions. Based on our review, the most common oil weathering processes involved are spreading, advection, diffusion, evaporation, emulsification, and dispersion. The majority of existing oil spill models do not consider significant physical processes, such as oil dissolution, photo-oxidation, biodegradation, and vertical mixing. Moreover, timely response to oil spills is lacking in the new generation of oil spill models. Further improvements in oil spill modeling should emphasize more comprehensive parametrization of oil dissolution, biodegradation, entrainment, and prediction of oil particles size distribution following wave action and well blow outs. View Full-Text
Keywords: oil spill modeling; oil weathering processes; biodegradation; transport and dispersion resurfacing; turbulent mixing oil spill modeling; oil weathering processes; biodegradation; transport and dispersion resurfacing; turbulent mixing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Keramea, P.; Spanoudaki, K.; Zodiatis, G.; Gikas, G.; Sylaios, G. Oil Spill Modeling: A Critical Review on Current Trends, Perspectives, and Challenges. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9, 181. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9020181

AMA Style

Keramea P, Spanoudaki K, Zodiatis G, Gikas G, Sylaios G. Oil Spill Modeling: A Critical Review on Current Trends, Perspectives, and Challenges. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2021; 9(2):181. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9020181

Chicago/Turabian Style

Keramea, Panagiota, Katerina Spanoudaki, George Zodiatis, Georgios Gikas, and Georgios Sylaios. 2021. "Oil Spill Modeling: A Critical Review on Current Trends, Perspectives, and Challenges" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9, no. 2: 181. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9020181

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