An ecological risk assessment model for Arctic oil spills from a subsea pipeline

Ehsan Arzaghi, Rouzbeh Abbassi, Vikram Garaniya, Jonathan Binns, Faisal Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


There is significant risk associated with increased oil and gas exploration activities in the Arctic Ocean. This paper presents a probabilistic methodology for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) of accidental oil spills in this region. A fugacity approach is adopted to model the fate and transport of released oil, taking into account the uncertainty of input variables. This assists in predicting the 95th percentile Predicted Exposure Concentration (PEC95%) of pollutants in different media. The 5th percentile Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC5%) is obtained from toxicity data for 19 species. A model based on Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) is developed to assess the ecological risk posed to the aquatic community. The model enables accounting for the occurrence likelihood of input parameters, as well as analyzing the time-variable risk profile caused by seasonal changes. It is observed through the results that previous probabilistic methods developed for ERA can be overestimating the risk level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1127
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Bayesian network
  • Fugacity
  • Ecological Risk Assessment
  • Oil spill
  • Arctic


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