Offshore Technology Research Center


OTRC Project Summary

Project Title:

Seakeeping Performance of Containment Booms in Random Waves and Currents

Prinicipal Investigators:

M. H. Kim and Richard Seymour


National Science Foundation, Marine Spill Response Corporation, and Texas General Land Office

Completion Date:

January, 1996

Final Report ID#

A77(Click to view final report abstract)

The effective containment of the split oil is the most important first step toward the subsequent clean-up operation.  During the past several decades, a number of attempts have been made to contain oil slicks (or any surface contaminants) in the open sea by means of a floating barrier.  Many of those attempts were not very successful especially in the presence of waves and current (Milgram, 1978).  Currently, there are more than 30 different boom designs in use on the open sea. The relative capabilities of these booms have not been properly quantified for lack of standardized analysis or testing procedure (Hudon, 1992).  Despite the importance of the problem, relevant literature in this area is surprisingly scarce (e.g. Milgram, 1971, Van Dyck, 1994).  In this regard, the analytical and experimental programs to identify important boom effectiveness parameters are needed (Punt, 1994).

To achieve the desirable performance of floating booms in the open sea, we first need investigate the static and dynamic responses in waves and currents.  In addition, the resulting forces on the boom and cable lines must be determined so that adequate structural strength can be provided.  The primary objective of the present study is to investigate the seakeeping performance of a boom for various boom parameters and sea conditions and compare the experimental results with numerical models.  By providing objective criteria for guiding boom design and selection, the reliability of equipment in the response inventory can be significantly improved.  If effective numerical models are obtained, design optimization at very low cost becomes a reality and the capabilities of booms may possibly be substantially improved.  In the present study, it is assumed that the influence of il slick on the hydrodynamic performance of booms can be neglected.

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