Scientia Marina, Vol 68, No 3 (2004)

Assessment of the behavior of oil in the tanks of the Prestige in the Atlantic deep sea

María J. Marcos

Almudena Agüero

Antonio García-Olivares
Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (CSIC), Spain

Bernd J. Haupt
Pennsylvania State University, United States

Jose L. De Pablos


The sinking of the Prestige supertanker off the coast of Spain in November 2002 led to one of the most devastating oil spills ever worldwide. Between 13,800 and 37,500 tons of oil still remain inside the wreckage. The mid-range and long-term behaviour of oil temperature and leaks were analysed to decide whether the oil could be pumped out in the current conditions. Past and present conditions near the wreckage were analysed, considering depth, water pressure, estimated oil behaviour inside the tanks, and possible future hull corrosion. A similar analysis may be useful in the management of future wreckages.


oil spill; computational fluid dynamics; deep sea; tanker wreckage; Atlantic Ocean

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