Oil spill modeling: Risk, spatial vulnerability, and impact assessment

Jake R. Nelson, Anthony Grubesic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Oil spill modeling is fundamental for planning and preparing for, as well as responding to and mitigating, actual spill events. As a result, significant research effort has been directed toward developing analytical approaches for deepening our understanding of spill risk, community vulnerability, oil behavior, spill outcomes, and impacts. The purpose of this paper is to provide a synthesis of the oil spill risk assessment and impact modeling literature, with a focus on the vulnerability of local environmental, ecological, and community systems, as well as the geographic processes associated with modeling spills and transforming these data into a robust and meaningful impact assessments. The results of this progress report reveal a number of methodological and substantive commonalities across the scientific literature. Moreover, the synthesis of this literature should provide researchers with a strong foundation for pursuing future work in this domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-127
Number of pages16
JournalProgress in Physical Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Oil spill
  • environment
  • risk
  • spatial analysis
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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