Lagrangian simulation of oil trajectories in the Florida Straits

K. L. Drouin, A. J. Mariano, E. H. Ryan, L. C. Laurindo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A Lagrangian floating oil trajectory model is developed to simulate a continuous surface spill in the Florida Straits. The trajectories are initiated at locations representative of exploratory drilling sites around Cuba's Exclusive Economic Zone and integrated for ten days. The simulation is initialized for different seasons, using leeway-corrected observed winds, ocean currents, different climatologies, and a first-order Markov Lagrangian Stochastic Model. A Monte-Carlo scheme is used to parameterize oil weathering processes collectively. Overall, the simulations exhibit a strong seasonal dependence, where the Florida coast is most affected during the summer and the Cuban coast in the winter. Drilling sites at the center of the Straits show the largest impact on Florida. Cuba is most affected by shoreline locations. A significant amount of oil reaches the Florida coastline within two to ten days, and Cuba is potentially affected within hours. Many simulations project impacts for the Florida Keys, South Florida, and the north shore of Cuba.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-218
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Cuban offshore drilling
  • Florida Straits oil spill
  • Lagrangian trajectories
  • Monte-Carlo weathering scheme
  • Oil spill modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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