A modeling approach toward oil spill management along the Eastern Mediterranean

M. El-Fadel, R. Abdallah, G. Rachid

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    This paper examines the temporal and spatial distributions of the largest oil spill along the Eastern Mediterranean and explores management options (boom deployment and fuel upgrade) to reduce potential adverse impacts on the marine environment from similar accidents. For this purpose, the trajectory and weathering of the ∼18,000 tons of heavy fuel oil spilled from the Jiyeh thermal power plant were simulated along the coast of Lebanon using the 3D MEDSLIK model, supported with sea water sampling and analysis and field measurements. The base simulation of the spill under existing conditions at the time of occurrence defined the temporal distribution over 90 days of oil spilled in terms of percentage of oil on the surface or evaporated (13.1%), dispersed in the water column or landed on the coast (86.9% landed of which 30.1% were potentially releasable). The spatial distribution defined shoreline stretches with high risk of exposure (located 35 km north of the source and stretching for more than 150 km with medium to low risk exposure). Parametric analysis revealed a relatively higher sensitivity to the drift factor, the current depth, and the time of spill parameters. Deployment of booms reduced shorelines exposure by ∼95% in comparison to baseline conditions, and medium or light brands increased evaporation by ∼22-42% and reduced oil reaching the coast by ∼37-57% in comparison to heavy fuel oil.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)93-102
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Volume113
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 30 Dec 2012

    Keywords

    • Eastern Mediterranean
    • Jiyeh oil spill
    • Lebanon
    • MEDSLIK

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