PhD defence

Oil slick fate in 3D. Predicting the influence of (natural and chemical) dispersion on oil slick fate

PhD candidate ms. Ing. M (Marieke) Zeinstra-Helfrich
Promotor prof.dr. AJ (Tinka) Murk
Co-promotor dr. W Koops
Organisation Wageningen University, Marine Animal Ecology

Mon 21 November 2016 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Aula, gebouwnummer 362

Short Summary:

In certain conditions, (part of) an oil spill can disappear from the water surface through a process called natural dispersion. One available oil spill response option is to enhance this process by addition of dispersants (chemical dispersion). An informed decision for such response requires insight in the oil slick size WITH and WITHOUT treatment. This thesis aims to enable such assessment of net effectiveness, by providing a strategy for modelling the dispersion process.
A plunging jet test was developed for investigating entrainment and droplet breakup. Using this set up the relevance of oil layer thickness was proven and an algorithm to model droplet sizes of dispersed oil was defined. The findings were applied in a model simulating dispersion and resurfacing as well as the wind-driven differential transport between the floating slick and suspended droplets. The simulation outputs help assess the added value (or not) of dispersant application in reducing the surface oil slick size for different oil types and conditions.