A Coupled Modeling System for Simulating Oil-Biological-Sediment Interactions in the Ocean

Steven L Morey1, Eric Chassignet2, Dmitry S Dukhovskoy3, Courtney Kay Harris4, Victoria Coles5, Michael R Stukel3, Robert D Hetland6, Kristen M Thyng6, Tian-Jian Hsu7, Andrew James Manning8, Olivia Mason9, Veronica Ruiz Xomchuk10, Daijiro Kobashi6, Lixin Qu11, Leiping Ye12, Linlin Cui13, Xu Chen14 and Jiaze Wang5, (1)Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, School of the Environment, Tallahassee, FL, United States, (2)Florida State University, Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Tallahassee, FL, United States, (3)Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, United States, (4)Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary, Gloucester Point, VA, United States, (5)University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory, Cambridge, MD, United States, (6)Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States, (7)University of Delaware, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Newark, United States, (8)University of Hull, Energy & Environment Institute, Hull, United Kingdom, (9)Florida State University, Tallahassee, United States, (10)Texas A&M University, Oceanography, College Station, TX, United States, (11)Texas A&M University College Station, Oceanography, College Station, TX, United States, (12)University of Delaware, Civil and Environmental Eng., Newark, DE, United States, (13)Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA, United States, (14)Florida State University, Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Tallahassee, United States
Abstract:
Over the past decade, numerous studies have yielded a better understanding of the processes governing the eventual fate of oil released in the ocean. Oil spill models have been developed with parameterizations simulating processes such as sedimentation, biodegradation, and atmospheric weathering for removing oil from the system. However, such models are limited in their ability to fully simulate pathways for hydrocarbons moving through seawater into sediments and the marine ecosystem. The Consortium for Simulation of Oil-Microbial Interactions in the Ocean (CSOMIO) has developed a modeling system that dynamically couples components for simulating ocean hydrodynamics, oil transport, dispersion and weathering, oil-mineral aggregate (OMA) formation, flocculation and settling, and the lower trophic level marine ecosystem. This CSOMIO Coupled Model is an adaptation and extension of the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system. A biogeochemical modeling component incorporating a microbial model is implemented in the system and adapted for the presence of hydrocarbons. The sediment transport component of COAWST (the Community Sediment Transport Modeling System, CSTMS) is modified to include computationally efficient flocculation parameterizations for OMAs developed from laboratory experiments. The ocean modeling component of COAWST (the Regional Ocean Modeling System, ROMS) is modified to simulate three-dimensional oil transport and compositional changes (weathering). These modeling components are linked together using a two-way Lagrangian-Eulerian mapping technique allowing for interaction between all of the modeling components for tracking of hydrocarbons from a source blowout to deposition in sediment, microbial degradation, and evaporation while being transported through the ocean, and can be run offline to increase computational speed.