Water Resources Management

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 663–676

Decision making of oil spill contingency options with fuzzy comprehensive evaluation


    • ICBMCarl von Ossietzky University
  • K. W. Wirtz
    • Institute for Coastal ResearchGKSS
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11269-006-9031-5

Cite this article as:
Liu, X. & Wirtz, K.W. Water Resour Manage (2007) 21: 663. doi:10.1007/s11269-006-9031-5


Accidental oil spills are one of major sources to affect ecologically and economically sensitive marine areas and shorelines. The aim of decision making during oil spill response management is to minimize pollution effects in coastal areas, once spills occur. However, not all coastal areas at risk can be saved due to a limitation of equipments or options. Thus, often preferences between different coastal areas or uses, respectively, have to be made in an operational way. Such a management issue is here taken as a multi-group multi-criteria decision making problem involving a variety of stakeholders and natural dynamic environments. For solving such a complex problem, this paper targets efforts to integrate a second order fuzzy comprehensive evaluation (FCE) method and consensus facilitating techniques into computerized group decision support system. Such a DSS takes into account the influence of multiple criteria and the knowledge of different interested groups and simulates a consensus based decision process. Through a case study of the Prestige accident off the Spanish coast in 2002, it is demonstrated that the model provides a simple, effective and adaptable method to solve operational management problems related to complex human nature interactions as realized during oil spill management. Moreover, a series of analyses explore potentials and limitations of the FCE for further applications in the field of multi-group multi-criteria decision-making.


Decision makingOil spillFuzzy comprehensive evaluationMulti-criteriaGroup consensus

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006