NOAA's Strategic Assessment Programme in the Gulf of Mexico.
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This report describes the first of two phases of a project to develop a data base of oil discharges from ships operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The project was separated into two phases because of the varied nature of the phenomena that affect oil discharges from ships. The two general types of oil discharges are: 1) operational discharges, which occur routinely and intentionally as the result of normal operating procedures, and 2) spills, which result from accidents. The marine transportation data base developed during the first phase of the project is now being used to develop a Monte Carlo-type simulation model to predict the likely location and magnitude of future operational and casualty spills in the Gulf. Completion of the first phase has resulted in estimates of operational discharges of oil from six types of ships by 30 X 30 minute grid cells based on standard lines of longitude and latitude for the entire Gulf of Mexico for each month of 1979. Operational discharges of oil account for the major share of oil inputs to the oceans from marine transportation sources.