Towards Integrated Modeling of the Long-Term Impacts of Oil Spills


Helena M. Solo-Gabriele, University of MiamiFollow
Tom Fiddaman, Ventana Systems, Inc.Follow
Cecilie Mauritzen, Meteorologisk instituttFollow
Cameron Ainsworth, University of South Florida St. PetersburgFollow
David M. Abramson, New York UniversityFollow
Igal Berenshtein, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceFollow
Eric P. Chassignet, Florida State UniversityFollow
Shuyi S. Chen, University of WashingtonFollow
Robyn N. Conmy, United States Environmental Protection AgencyFollow
Christa D. Court, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural SciencesFollow
William K. Dewar, CNRS Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueFollow
John W. Farrington, Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionFollow
Michael G. Feldman, Consortium for Ocean LeadershipFollow
Alesia C. Ferguson, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State UniversityFollow
Elizabeth Fetherston-Resch, Florida Institute of OceanographyFollow
Deborah French-McCay, RPS Group PlcFollow
Christine Hale, Texas A and M University - Corpus ChristiFollow
Ruoying He, NC State UniversityFollow
Vassiliki H. Kourafalou, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceFollow
Kenneth Lee, Fisheries and Oceans CanadaFollow
Yonggang Liu, University of South Florida St. PetersburgFollow
Michelle Masi, NOAA Fisheries Service Galveston LaboratoryFollow
Emily S. Maung-Douglass, Louisiana State UniversityFollow
Steven L. Morey, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityFollow
Steven A. Murawski, University of South Florida St. PetersburgFollow
Claire B. Paris, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceFollow
Natalie Perlin, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceFollow
Erin L. Pulster, University of South Florida St. PetersburgFollow
Antonietta Quigg, Texas A and M University at GalvestonFollow
Denise J. Reed, University of New OrleansFollow
James J. Ruzicka, Oregon State UniversityFollow
Paul A. Sandifer, College of CharlestonFollow
John G. Shepherd, University of SouthamptonFollow
Burton H. Singer, University of FloridaFollow
Michael R. Stukel, Florida State UniversityFollow
Tracey T. Sutton, Nova Southeastern UniversityFollow
Robert H. Weisberg, University of South FloridaFollow
Denis A. Wiesenburg, University of Southern MississippiFollow
Charles A. Wilson, chuck.wilson@gomri.orgFollow
Monica Wilson, University of FloridaFollow
Kateryna M. Wowk, Texas A&M University Corpus ChristiFollow
Callan Yanoff, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Gulf of Mexico Research InitiativeFollow
David Yoskowitz, Texas A&M University Corpus ChristiFollow

Document Type


Publication Date



Marine Science


Ocean Science and Engineering


Although great progress has been made to advance the scientific understanding of oil spills, tools for integrated assessment modeling of the long-term impacts on ecosystems, socioeconomics and human health are lacking. The objective of this study was to develop a conceptual framework that could be used to answer stakeholder questions about oil spill impacts and to identify knowledge gaps and future integration priorities. The framework was initially separated into four knowledge domains (ocean environment, biological ecosystems, socioeconomics, and human health) whose interactions were explored by gathering stakeholder questions through public engagement, assimilating expert input about existing models, and consolidating information through a system dynamics approach. This synthesis resulted in a causal loop diagram from which the interconnectivity of the system could be visualized. Results of this analysis indicate that the system naturally separates into two tiers, ocean environment and biological ecosystems versus socioeconomics and human health. As a result, ocean environment and ecosystem models could be used to provide input to explore human health and socioeconomic variables in hypothetical scenarios. At decadal-plus time scales, the analysis emphasized that human domains influence the natural domains through changes in oil-spill related laws and regulations. Although data gaps were identified in all four model domains, the socioeconomics and human health domains are the least established. Considerable future work is needed to address research gaps and to create fully coupled quantitative integrative assessment models that can be used in strategic decision-making that will optimize recoveries from future large oil spills.

Publication Title

Marine Policy



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