On the Deepwater Horizon drop size distributions

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Thomas B Ryerson1, Elliot L Atlas2, Donald Ray Blake3, Joost A De Gouw4, Carsten Warneke5, Jeff Peischl6, Charles A Brock4 and Stuart A McKeen7, (1)NOAA Chemical Sciences Divisio, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)University Miami, Miami, FL, United States, (3)University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States, (4)NOAA Earth System Research Lab, Boulder, CO, United States, (5)NOAA Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (6)NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, United States, Boulder, CO, United States, (7)NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, CO, United States
Model simulations of the fate of gas and oil released following the Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2012 depend critically on the assumed drop size distributions. We use direct observations of surfacing time, surfacing location, and atmospheric chemical composition to infer an average drop size distribution for June 10, 2012, providing robust first-order constraints on parameterizations in models. We compare the inferred drop size distribution to published work on Deepwater Horizon and discuss the ability of this approach to determine the efficacy of subsurface dispersant injection.