An analysis was made of the relative impact to the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico from proposed Federal Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing activity. An oil spill trajectory model was coupled with a land segment vulnerability characterization to predict the risks to the shoreline. Such a technique allows spatial and temporal variability in oil spill sensitivity to be represented and combined with the likelihood of oil spill contact to specific coastal segments in the study area. Predicted relative impact was greatest along the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Useful information is provided for environmental impact analysis, as well as oil spill response planning.
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An application of a vulnerability index to oil spill modeling in the Gulf of Mexico