Experimental study on spectral responses of offshore oil slick

Research paper by YingCheng Lu, QingJiu Tian, JingJing Wang, XiangCheng Wang, XiaoPing Qi

Indexed on: 19 Dec '08Published on: 19 Dec '08Published in: Chinese science bulletin = Kexue tongbao


Using the seawater taken from Liaodong Bay and crude oil taken from Liaohe Oilfield, a laboratory experiment was designed to study the change of reflectance spectrum of artificial offshore oil slick with its thickness and to identify the spectrum ranges suitable for quantifying the thickness of the oil slick. During the experiment, crude oil was continuously dropped into the seawater to generate artificial oil slick with different thicknesses. After every drop of crude oil was added, reflectance spectrum of the oil slick was measured with a high resolution spectroradiometer (ASD FieldSpec Pro FR). The influence of oil slick thickness on its reflectance spectrum was explored through statistical analysis. The results show that the reflectance of oil slick changes marginally with oil slick thickness and higher than that of seawater in infrared band from 1150 to 2500 nm. This spectrum range can be practically used to distinguish oil slick from seawater. In the spectrum range from 400 to 1150 nm, the reflectance of oil slick decreases with its thickness. The negative power function is the best-fit function expressing the relationship between the reflectance and thickness. The spectral characteristics of oil slick are very distinct at 550 and 645 nm. They are the best wavelengths for monitoring the existence of offshore oil slick and estimating its thickness.