Measuring energy dissipation rates in a wave tank

Albert D. Venosa, Vikram J. Kaku, Michel C. Boufadel, Kenneth Lee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The effectiveness of dispersants is typically evaluated at various scales ranging from the smallest (10 cm, typical of flask tests in the laboratory) to the largest (10's to 100's of meters, typical of field scale open water dispersion tests). This study aims at evaluating dispersant effectiveness at intermediate or pilot scale. The hypothesis is that the energy dissipation rate per unit mass, ε, plays a major role in the effectiveness of a dispersant. Therefore, it is stipulated that in fairly general conditions, conservation ε between the wave tank scale and that of the field scale is sufficient to accurately evaluate the effectiveness of a dispersant to disperse oil droplets. A wave tank measuring 16 m long × 0.6 m wide × 2 m deep was constructed on the premises of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Waves were generated using a flap-type wavemaker. Conditions of the breaking waves were created using a dispersive focusing technique in which the wave maker is started at high frequency and then the frequency decreased to create breaking waves. Experiments defining the velocity profile and energy dissipation rates in the wave tank were conducted at 2 different induced breaking-wave energies. Energy in the wave tank was measured with an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV) coupled to a data acquisition system. Energy in the lab flasks was measured with a Hot Wire Anemometer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2005 International Oil Spill Conference, IOSC 2005 - Miami Beach, FL, United States
Duration: May 15 2005May 19 2005


Other2005 International Oil Spill Conference, IOSC 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami Beach, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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