Date of Original Version
Based on oil fate modeling of the Deepwater Horizon spill through August 2010, during June and July 2010, ~89% of the oil surfaced, ~5% entered (by dissolving or as microdroplets) the deep plume (>900 m), and ~6% dissolved and biodegraded between 900 m and 40 m. Subsea dispersant application reduced surfacing oil by ~7% and evaporation of volatiles by ~26%. By July 2011, of the total oil, ~41% evaporated, ~15% was ashore and in nearshore (<10 m) sediments, ~3% was removed by responders, ~38.4% was in the water column (partially degraded; 29% shallower and 9.4% deeper than 40 m), and ~2.6% sedimented in waters >10 m (including 1.5% after August 2010). Volatile and soluble fractions that did not evaporate biodegraded by the end of August 2010, leaving residual oil to disperse and potentially settle. Model estimates were validated by comparison to field observations of floating oil and atmospheric emissions.
Marine Pollution Bulletin
French-McCay, D. P., Jayko, K., Li, Z., Spaulding, M. L., Crowley, D., Mendelsohn, D.,...Rowe, J. J. (2021). Oil fate and mass balance for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 171, 112681. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112681
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112681
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