Articles | Volume 14, issue 6
Ocean Sci., 14, 1581–1601, 2018
Ocean Sci., 14, 1581–1601, 2018

Research article 21 Dec 2018

Research article | 21 Dec 2018

The effect of vertical mixing on the horizontal drift of oil spills

Johannes Röhrs et al.

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Cited articles

Breivik, O., Janssen, P. E. A. M., and Bidlot, J.-R.: Approximate Stokes Drift profiles in deep water, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44, 2433–2445,, 2014. a, b
Broström, G., Drivdal, M., Carrasco, A., Christensen, K., and Mattsson, J.: The Golden Trader oil spill; evaluation of operational oil spill models, in: EGU General Assembly, 16, p. 15518, (last access: 19 December 2018), 2014. a
Callaghan, A., de Leeuw, G., Cohen, L., and O'Dowd, C. D.: Relationship of oceanic whitecap coverage to wind speed and wind history, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L23609,, 2008. a, b
Callaghan, A. H.: On the Relationship between the Energy Dissipation Rate of Surface-Breaking Waves and Oceanic Whitecap Coverage, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 48, 2609–2626,, 2018. a
Christensen, K. H. and Terrile, E.: Drift and deformation of oil slicks due to surface waves, J. Fluid Mech., 620, 313,, 2009. a

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Short summary
Simulations of hypothetical oil spills are presented to investigate how the vertical mixing of oil affects transport towards various directions. It is shown that the horizontal transport of oil greatly varies for different oil types and weather conditions. These differences are a consequence of the entrainment of oil from the surface into the ocean. While oil spills often get entrained into the water by waves, we show that submerged oil typically resurfaces after a few hours or days.