Modelling the confinement of spilled oil with floating booms
An effective mechanical method of confining the oil spills in an open ocean is to use barriers such as floating booms. However, the confined oil may leak beneath a boom if either the towing speed of the boom or the amount of oil is too large. In this paper a simple mathematical model based on the potential theory is presented for the two-layer (oil and water) flow near a vertical barrier. A set of non-linear integral equations is formulated and solved numerically. For the indirect approach we adopted to solve the non-linear integral equations, the water velocity at the water-oil upstream contact point becomes a determining parameter of the final results. It is shown that the oil leakage under the barrier is impossible if the contact point is a stagnation one. For other non-stagnation cases, we were able to compute flows up to critical Froude numbers beyond which the oil will leak underneath the barrier.