Rotating 2d point source plume models with application to Deepwater Horizon

A. Fabregat, B. Deremble, N. Wienders, A. Stroman, A. Poje, T. M. Özgökmen, W. K. Dewar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DwH) accident in the Gulf of Mexico has renewed oceanographic interest in point source buoyant convection. The present paper applies modern numerical techniques to study this problem, focussing specifically on the DwH event. The gas/oil/seawater nature of the problem requires a ‘multiphase’ approach, which is relatively unfamiliar in physical oceanography, although applications are becoming more common. The model is cast in an Eulerian framework and includes feedbacks between the convection and the environment, unlike past oil/gas plume simulations that adopt a semi-passive, Lagrangian approach. Fully three dimensional (3d) simulations are too computationally demanding for practical multi-day use, so a two-dimensional (2d) radially symmetric model is developed from the equations and calibrated to the 3d results. Both the 2d and 3d solutions show the somewhat unexpected result that oil/bubble plumes modelled after the DwH event are strongly affected by rotation and exert a considerable dynamic feedback on the ambient. These effects are not typically included in classical oil/gas plume models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-135
Number of pages18
JournalOcean Modelling
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • 2-D/3-D comparisons
  • Multi-phase plumes with rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Rotating 2d point source plume models with application to Deepwater Horizon'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this