Physical Oceanography, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2004
PARAMETRIZATION OF THE BIOCHEMICAL PROCESSES OF OXIDATION
AND NUMERICAL MODELING OF THE SEASONAL BEHAVIOR OF THE
DISTRIBUTION OF OIL HYDROCARBONS IN THE AEROBIC
ZONE OF THE BLACK SEA
S. K. Konovalov, A. I. Kubryakov, and S. G. Demyshev
We discuss specific features of the space distribution and the processes of assimilation and oxi-
dation of the dissolved and emulsified fractions of oil hydrocarbons in Black-Sea waters and
study the methods of parametrization of these processes proposed in the literature. We develop a
procedure of parametrization of the processes of degradation of oil hydrocarbons taking into ac-
count their complex chemical compositions, characteristics of chemical and microbiological
processes, and temperature dependences of these processes and perform numerical experiments
aimed at the reconstruction of the seasonal variations of the large-scale space structure of the dis-
tribution of oil hydrocarbons in the aerobic zone of the Black Sea.
Oil hydrocarbons, together with various forms of biogenic elements (nitrates, ammonium, phosphates, and
organic compounds of nitrogen and phosphorus), are the main products of anthropogenic origin discharged to
marine environment . The total inflow of oil hydrocarbons in marine environment is estimated as hundreds
millions of tons per year. The annual inflow of oil hydrocarbons into the Black Sea is as large as
sand tons , which is close to the assimilation capacity of the basin for these substances [3, 4]. The mean con-
centration of oil hydrocarbons in the open waters of the Black Sea in the 1980s was
times higher than their
maximum permissible concentration in seawater. Moreover, the maximum values of concentration of oil hydro-
times higher than the maximum permissible concentration . In addition, a significant in-
crease in the intensity of marine transportation of oil hydrocarbons accompanied by the creation of new transpor-
tation routes (from the Caucasian Coast to Ukraine and Bulgaria and to the Mediterranean Sea through Bospo-
rus) is expected in the Black Sea. At the same time, a shipwreck of a single oil tanker may result in a pollution
of marine environment with an amount oil hydrocarbons comparable with their annual inflow into the Black Sea.
Since the Black Sea is located at middle latitudes, the consequences of changes in the regular inflow of oil hy-
drocarbons and/or accidental pollutions of the sea with large amounts of these substances affect the state of the
marine ecosystem for several years.
The analysis of the behavior of oil hydrocarbons in marine environment includes the monitoring of their
distribution [2, 4], investigation of the processes of biochemical disintegration , and numerical simulation of
the physical processes of transport of the film fraction of oil hydrocarbons appearing in water, e.g., as a result of
accidents with oil-carrying ships and industrial complexes at the coast [6, 7].
The methods of numerical simulation were extensively used in the problems of transport of the film fraction
of oil hydrocarbons [7, 8] with an aim to be able to predict the pollution of the water area and coastal zone with
insoluble components of oil. The processes of biochemical disintegration of oil hydrocarbons in models of this
sort either were not studied at all or taken into account in a very simple form.
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol. Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal,
26–40, January–February, 2004. Original article submitted September 10, 2002;
revision submitted September 17, 2002.
0928-5105/04/1401–0027 © 2004 Plenum Publishing Corporation 27