Oil spill scenarios in the western gulf of Mexico

Paula Perez-Brunius1, Julio Sheinbaum2, Maria Josefina Olascoaga3, Francisco J Beron-Vera3, Philippe Miron4, Konstantinos Kotzakoulakis2, Julio Antonio Lara5, Javier Rodriguez Outerelo1, Paula GarcĂ­a-Carrillo1, Jorge Zavala-Hidalgo6, Sheila Natali Estrada-Allis7, Joao Marcos Azevedo Correia de Souza8, Julien Jouanno9 and Aljaz Maslo1, (1)Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada, Physical Oceanography, Ensenada, BJ, Mexico, (2)CICESE, Physical Oceanography, Ensenada, BJ, Mexico, (3)University of Miami, Miami, FL, United States, (4)RSMAS/U. of Miami, Miami, FL, United States, (5)UNAM National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, DF, Mexico, (6)Univ Nacional Autonoma Mexico, Mexico City, EM, Mexico, (7)Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y de Educacion Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Ensenada, BJ, Mexico, (8)New Zealand Meteorological Service (MetService), MetOcean Division, Raglan, New Zealand, (9)Observatory Midi-Pyrenees, Toulouse, France
Oil spill scenarios for surface waters are generated for strategic points in which deep-water oil extraction is likely to occur in the western gulf of Mexico. The scenarios were generated with three different oil spill models: one full oil spill 3D model that includes various weathering processes, and two simpler 2D models (passive particles and transition matrix-Markov chains) that include oil decay by evaporation. All oil spill models were run using the 20-year outputs of hydrodynamic models and surface wind products of the CIGoM consortium. The scenarios are produced by combining a large amount of individual oil spills of equal duration and oil release rates in a statistical manner, to obtain the areas most likely affected with the corresponding arrival times. Similarities and differences between the scenarios from the three different oil spill models as well as the mechanisms that give raise to them are discussed, and the main characteristics of the scenarios for the strategic points are presented. These scenarios are being used to assess ecological vulnerability and risk, as tools for decision makers for contingency planning purposes.