Hazard assessment of oil spills along the main shipping lane in the Red Sea

by H. V. R. Mittal, S. Langodan, P. Zhan, S. Li, O. Knio, I. Hoteit
Article Year: 2021 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-96572-5


This study investigates the risk from oil spills along the main shipping lane in the Red Sea based upon oil spill model trajectories forced by the outputs of validated high resolution regional met-ocean data. Following the intra-annual variations in the met-ocean conditions, the results are presented by classifying the basin into three regions: northern, central and southern Red Sea. The maximum distance traveled by the slick is presented for 1, 2, 5, 10, 14 and 20 days after the commencement of a spill. Different measures of hazard assessment in terms of the concentration of beached oil alongside the corresponding probability maps are also analyzed. The volume fractions of beached, dispersed and evaporated oil, 20 days after the commencement of a spill are quantified. The Red Sea general circulation is characterized by rich mesoscale eddies, which appear to be the most prevailing dynamics in oil transport in the basin. Two case events are analyzed to closely examine the effects of the mesoscale circulations on the fate of spilled oil. The results of this study provide a comprehensive assessment of oil spill hazards in the Red Sea, stemming its main shipping lane and identifies the areas at high risk that require timely mitigation strategies.