Volume No. 3 Issue No.: 2 Page No.: 371-379 Oct-Dec 2008




R. Samuel Devadoss*, S.A. Sannasiraj and K. Murali

Dept. of Ocean Engg., IIT Madras, (INDIA)


Received on : June 6, 2008




Oil spill dispersion and its fate are important in the nearshore region due to increasing environmental concerns and rapid awareness among coastal population. On the other hand the wave breaking near the shoreline generates high turbulence and disperses the oil spill both in vertical (water column) as well as horizontal directions which enhance the distribution of oil through other critical processes such as beach deposition, oil-mineral agglomeration, etc. In order to understand the complex convective motion of oil spill interacting with the intricate wave breaking process, laboratory investigations were carried out in the present study. A well planned experimental programme has been carried out in a wave flume in order to study the effect of wave breaking on the dispersion of oil spills and the deposition on the beach. It has been observed that the intensity of breaking, alters the surface concentration profile of the oil spill. Two different characteristic oils were used to find the spill behaviour with reference to their viscosity and interfacial surface tension. Further batch studies in a sand column revealed the rate of penetration of the different types of oils into different soil layer could vary significantly. The seepage velocity is found to vary according to the degree of saturation, porosity of the soil layer, type of oil, etc. The depth of penetration and the retention capacity of different soils have been measured and reported herein for better understanding of surface and subsurface oil pollution.


Keywords : Wave breaking, Oil spill, Beach deposition, Fate of oil.