Environmental sensitivity index for oil spills in marine and coastal areas in Colombia

  • Diego L Gil Agudelo Ecopetrol S.A.
  • Ramón Alberto Nieto Bernal CTP LTDA.
  • Diana Marcela Ibarra Mojica CTP LTDA.
  • Ana María Guevara Vargas CTP LTDA.
  • Erich Gundlach E-Tech International Inc.
Keywords: Environmental sensitivity maps, Oil spills, Permeability, Biodiversity, Geomorphology, Contingency plans, Socioeconomic resources


The implementation of tools to prevent and mitigate the potential impact of oil spills in marine and coastal environments is an issue of interest not only for oil and gas companies, but also for environmental authorities and the general society of the country as they seek to avoid possible damages to the natural realm and human-use resources of an area affected by these events.  One of these tools that is useful both for planning and response of oil spills is the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI), which establishes the degree of sensitivity of different coastal areas depending on their geophysics, hydrodynamic and biological characteristics.  ESI contributes and prioritize to improve response actions to minimize potential environmental impacts.  This index is a key element for the construction of the Environmental Sensitivity Maps for oil spills (ESM), but for its correct application, it has to be adjusted to the needs and conditions of each country.  This paper presents the adaptation of the ESI for Colombian coastal environments, which has been constructed through the revision of experiences in other countries and the collaboration of national and international experts during workshops.  The ESI presented here is the main tool for the elaboration of ESM for Colombia, an instrument that will help in the planning and response process for oil spills in the country.


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How to Cite
Gil Agudelo, D. L., Nieto Bernal, R. A., Ibarra Mojica, D. M., Guevara Vargas, A. M., & Gundlach, E. (2015). Environmental sensitivity index for oil spills in marine and coastal areas in Colombia. CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología Y Futuro, 6(1), 17-28. https://doi.org/10.29047/01225383.24


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