Do drifters/drift cards really move like oil?

CARTHE recently took a field trip to the Ohmsett Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility in New Jersey.  The oil spill wave tank is 203 meters long and can hold 2.3 million gallons of saltwater.

It is the largest outdoor saltwater wave/tow tank facility in North America and is the only facility where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research, and training can be conducted in a marine environment with oil under controlled environmental conditions (waves and oil types).


Photo by Tamay Ozgokmen

CARTHE conducted several days worth of experiments to quantify how drifters move with respect to oil.  This was our first opportunity to directly compare our equipment to oil so we could see how similarly the drifters, drift cards, dye, and oil behave.  The good news is, its very close!


Photo by Tamay Ozgokmen

Thank you to the Ohmsett staff as well as Prof. Michel Boufadel, CARTHE co-principal investigator at New Jersey Institute of Technology, who helped arrange this opportunity.