Optimizing oil spill cleanup efforts: A tactical approach and evaluation framework

Anthony Grubesic, Ran Wei, Jake Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Although anthropogenic oil spills vary in size, duration and severity, their broad impacts on complex social, economic and ecological systems can be significant. Questions pertaining to the operational challenges associated with the tactical allocation of human resources, cleanup equipment and supplies to areas impacted by a large spill are particularly salient when developing mitigation strategies for extreme oiling events. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the application of advanced oil spill modeling techniques in combination with a developed mathematical model to spatially optimize the allocation of response crews and equipment for cleaning up an offshore oil spill. The results suggest that the detailed simulations and optimization model are a good first step in allowing both communities and emergency responders to proactively plan for extreme oiling events and develop response strategies that minimize the impacts of spills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-329
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2017


  • Contingency planning
  • Oil spill response and cleanup
  • Simulation
  • Spatial optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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