Hydrodynamics of oil jets without and with dispersant: Experimental and numerical characterization

F. Gao, L. Zhao, M. C. Boufadel, T. King, B. Robinson, R. Conmy, R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present the analysis of an underwater horizontal oil jet experimental measurement and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) using the Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) equations. Two oil subsurface releases were conducted: one with crude oil and another with crude oil premixed with dispersant at the dispersant to oil ratio (DOR) of 1:20. The jet profile was captured by a camera at moderate resolution, and the instantaneous velocity was measured by a Vectrino Profiler. The velocity components, turbulence kinetic energy, and turbulence dissipation rate from the experiment agreed well with those from the CFD simulation using the k-epsilon turbulence model. The spread angle of the jet was found to be around 21° and 24° from the experiment measurement, for oil without dispersant and oil with dispersant, respectively. The latter is close to the angle of miscible jets at 23°. The jet profile of oil with dispersant had a smaller buoyancy than that without dispersant, which is probably due to the large water entrainment for the oil with dispersant jet. The cross sections of the jet for both cases gradually became flattened with distance, as the plume turned upward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Ocean Research
StatePublished - Oct 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering


  • CFD
  • Dispersant
  • Experimental testing
  • Oil jet


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