Turbulent and total energy are known be a very important part of the measurement of oil spill processes. For example, energy is thought to be the single most-important variable in relation to chemical dispersion.

Two techniques have been initiated to measure energy. The measurement technique chosen to do this is Particle Image Velocimetry or PIV. In this method, seed particles are put into the fluid and the fluid is illuminated with a laser. The movement of a particle in a given cell is measured as a function of time. This can occur as fast as 30 Hz. Energy can be calculated from at least 2 successive frames. Turbulent energy can be calculated at each point in the image frame. The other method used is the method of using hot wire anemometry. This method can yield data similar to PIV, however requires the intrusion of a probe into the area.

The measurements are compared to calculations based on formulations presented in the literature. An important point is that it is shown that a single value does not represent the energy in a vessel (or at sea) because the energy level is not homogeneous throughout the field nor is it simply described. Several of the laboratory vessels have energy fields that are representative of sea conditions.

This content is only available as a PDF.