Relative sensitivity of hydrodynamic, thermodynamic, and chemical processes for simulating the buoyant multiphase plume and surfacing flows of an oil and gas blowout

Anusha L. Dissanayake, Scott A. Socolofsky, Jonas Gros, Inok Jun, Lin Zhao, Michel C. Boufadel, J. Samuel Arey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Deepwater hydrocarbon releases experience complex chemical and physical processes. To assess simplifications of these processes on model predictions, we present a sensitivity analysis using simulations for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We compare the buoyant multiphase plume metrics (trap height, rise time etc), the hydrocarbon mass flowrates at the near-field plume termination and their mass fractions dissolved in the water column and reaching the water surface. The baseline simulation utilizes a 19-component hydrocarbon model, live-fluid state equations, hydrate dynamics, and heat and mass transfer. Other simulations turn-off each of these processes, with the simplest one using inert oil and methane gas. Plume metrics are the least sensitive to the modeled processes and can be matched by adjusting the release buoyancy flux. The mass flowrate metrics are more sensitive. Both liquid- and gas-phase mass transfer should be modeled for accurate tracking of soluble components (e.g. C1 - C7 hydrocarbons) in the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114377
Number of pages1
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume186
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

Keywords

  • Chemical dynamics
  • Gas
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Kinetics
  • Marine oil spills
  • Near-field plume
  • Oil
  • Oil well blowout
  • Thermodynamics

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