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Drift and deformation of oil slicks due to surface waves

  • K. H. CHRISTENSEN (a1) and E. TERRILE (a2)

We present a theoretical model for the wave-induced drift and horizontal deformation of an oil slick. The waves and the mean flow are coupled through the influence of the mean flow on the concentration of slick material, which in turn determines the damping rate of the waves and hence the transfer of momentum from the waves to the mean flow. We also briefly discuss a simplified version of the model that can be used when remote sensing data are available. With this simpler model the wave-induced forcing of the mean flow is obtained directly from observations of the wave field, hence knowledge of any specific slick properties is not required.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
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