Wave Tank Studies on Formation and Transport of OMA from the Chemically Dispersed Oil

  • K. Lee
  • Z. Li
  • T. King
  • P. Kepkay
  • M. C. Boufadel
  • A. D. Venosa
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


The interaction of chemical dispersants and suspended sediments with crude oil influences the fate and transport of oil spills in coastal waters. A wave tank study was conducted to investigate the effects of chemical dispersants and mineral fines on dispersion of oil, formation of oil-mineral-aggregates (OMAs), and microbial activities in natural seawater. Results of ultraviolet fluoremetry (UVF) and gas chromatography-flame ionized detector (GC-FID) analysis indicate that both dispersants and mineral fines, alone and in combination, stimulate the dispersion of oil slick from surface to water column. A laser in-situ scattering and transsiometer (LISST-100X) measurement shows that the presence of mineral fines increased the total concentration of the suspended particles from 4 to 10 μL/L, whereas the presence of dispersants decreased the particle size (mass mean diameter) from 50–70 to 20 μm. Enumeration with epifluorescent microscope shows that the presence of either dispersants or mineral fines significantly increased the number of particles in water.


wave tank dispersant OMA LISST fluoremetry 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, C.M. and LaBelle, R.P., 2000, Update of comparative occurrence rates for offshore oil spills. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 6(5-6), 303-321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. ASTM, 2002, American Society for Testing and Materials. Standard test method for waterborne petroleum oils by fluorescence analysis. ASTM D3650-90, West Conshohocken, PA.Google Scholar
  3. Boufadel, M.C., Wickley-Olsen, E., Kaku, V.J., King, T., Li, Z., Lee, K., and Venosa, A.D., in preparation, Regular and breaking waves in wave tank for dispersion effectiveness testing: 1 characterization of hydrodynamics.Google Scholar
  4. Bragg, J.R. and Owen, E.H., 1995, Shoreline cleansing by interactions between oil and fine mineral particles. 1995 International Oil Spill Conference, 219-227.Google Scholar
  5. Bragg, J.R. and Yang, S.H., 1995, Clay-oil flocculation and its effects on the rate of natural cleansing in Prince William Sound following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill - Fate and Effects in Alaskan Waters, P.G. Wells, J.N. Butler, and J.S. Hughes, eds., American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, PA, 178-214.Google Scholar
  6. Cloutier, D., Amos, C.L., Hill, P.R., and Lee, K., 2002, Oil erosion in an annular flume by seawater of varying turbidities: A critical bed shear stress approach. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 83-93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Delvigne, G.A.L. and Sweeney, C.E., 1988, Natural dispersion of oil. Oil and Chemical Pollution, 4(4), 281-310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Delvigne, G.A.L., Van del Stel, J.A., and Sweeney, C.E., 1987, Measurements of vertical turbulent dispersion and diffusion of oil droplets and oil particles. MMS 87-111, US Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Anchorage, Alaska.Google Scholar
  9. EPA, 2003, US Environmental Protection Agency. Test Methods(2003). EPA Methods 3510C, 3540C and 8100.Google Scholar
  10. Gearing, J.N. and Gearing, P.J., 1983, Suspended load and solubility effect on sedimentation of petroleum hydrocarbons in controlled estuarine ecosystems. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, 40, 54-62.Google Scholar
  11. Guyomarch, J., Le Floch, S., and Merlin, F.X., 2002, Effect of suspended mineral load, water salinity and oil type on the size of oil-mineral aggregates in the presence of chemical dispersant. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 95-100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Guyomarch, J., Merlin, F., and Bernanose, P., 1999, Oil interaction with mineral fines and chemical dispersion: Behaviour of the dispersed oil in coastal or estuarine conditions. Environment Canada’s 22nd Arctic and Marine Oilspill (AMOP) Technical Seminar, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, pp. 137-149.Google Scholar
  13. Kepkay, P.E., Bugden, J.B.C., Lee, K., and Stoffyn-Egli, P., 2002, Application of ultraviolet fluorescence spectroscopy to monitor oil-mineral aggregate formation. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 101-108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Khelifa, A., Stoffyn-Egli, P., Hill, P.S., and Lee, K. 2002. Characteristics of oil droplets stabilized by mineral particles: Effects of oil type and temperature. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 19-30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Le Floch, S., Guyomarch, J., Merlin, F.X., Stoffyn-Egli, P., Dixon, J., and Lee, K., 2002, The influence of salinity on oil-mineral aggregate formation. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 65-71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lee, K., 2002, Oil-particle interactions in aquatic environments: Influence on the transport, fate, effect and remediation of oil spills. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 3-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lee, K., Wong, C.S., Cretney, W.J., Whitney, F.A., Parson, T.R., Lalli, C.M., and Wu, J., 1985, Microbial response to crude oil and Corexit 9527: SEAFLUXES enclosure study. Microbial Ecology, 11, 337-351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lee, K., Weise, A.M., and St-Pierre, S., 1996, Enhanced Oil Biodegradation with Mineral Fine Interaction. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 3(4), 263-267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee, K., Lunel, T., Wood, P., Swannel, R., and Stoffyn-Egli, P., 1997, Shoreline cleanup by acceleration of clay-oil flocculation process. The 1997 International Oil Spill Conference, 235-240.Google Scholar
  20. Lee, K. and Stoffyn-Egli, P., 2001, Characterization of oil-mineral aggregates, in: Proceedings of the 2001 International Oil Spill Conference. American Petroleum Institute, Washington, DC, pp. 991-996.Google Scholar
  21. Lee, K., Stoffyn-Egli, P., Tremblay, G.H., Owens, E.H., Sergy, G.A., Guenette, C.C., and Prince, R.C., 2003, Oil-mineral aggregate formation on oiled beaches: Natural attenuation and sediment relocation. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(3), 285-296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li, M. and Garrett, C., 1998, The relationship between oil droplet size and upper ocean turbulence. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 36, 961-970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lunel, T., Swannell, R., and Rusin, J., 1997, Monitoring the effectiveness of response operations during the Sea Empress incident: a key component of the successful. Oceanographic Literature Review, 44(12), 1570-1570.Google Scholar
  24. MacKay, D. and Hussain, K., 1982, An exploratory study of sedimentation of naturally and chemically dispersed oil. Environment Canada Report, EE-35, 24 p, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  25. Muschenheim, D.K. and Lee, K., 2002, Removal of oil from the sea surface through particulate interactions: Review and prospectus. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 9-18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. NRC, 2003, National Research Council: Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates and Effects., National Academies Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  27. Omotoso, O.E., Munoz, V.A., and Mikula, R.J., 2002, Mechanisms of crude oil-mineral interactions. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 45-54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Owens, E.H. and Lee, K., 2003, Interaction of oil and mineral fines on shorelines: review and assessment. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 47(9-12), 397-405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Owens, E.H., Davis Jr., R.A., Michel, J., and Stritzke, K., 1995, Beach cleaning and the role of technical support in the 1993 Tampa Bay spill. The 1995 International Oil Spill Conference, 627-634.Google Scholar
  30. Owens, E.H., Sergy, G.A., Guenette, C.C., Prince, R.C., and Lee, K., 2003, The Reduction of Stranded Oil by In Situ Shoreline Treatment Options. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(3), 257-272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Page, C.A., Bonner, J.S., Sumner, P.L., McDonald, T.J., Autenrieth, R.L., and Fuller, C.B., 2000, Behavior of a chemically-dispersed oil and a whole oil on a nearshore environment. Water Research, 34(9), 2507-2516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shaw, J.M., 2003, A Microscopic View of Oil Slick Break-up and Emulsion Formation in Breaking Waves. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(5-6), 491-501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stoffyn-Egli, P. and Lee, K., 2002, Formation and characterization of oil-mineral aggregates. Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, 8(1), 31-44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tkalich, P. and Chan E.S., 2002, Vertical mixing of oil droplets by breaking waves. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 44(11), 1219–1229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Venosa, A.D., Kaku, V.J., Boufadel, M.C., and Lee, K., 2005, Measuring energy dissipation rates in a wave tank. In: Proceedings of 2005 International Oil Spill Conference, Miami, FL. American Petroleum Institute, Washington, DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Lee
    • 1
  • Z. Li
    • 1
  • T. King
    • 1
  • P. Kepkay
    • 1
  • M. C. Boufadel
    • 2
  • A. D. Venosa
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research, Fisheries and Oceans CanadaDartmouthCanada
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.National Risk Management Research LabU.S. EPACincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations