ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2015, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 72-79

Experimental investigation of surfactant film destruction due to breaking gravity waves. Preliminary results

S.A. Ermakov1,2  , I.A. Kapustin1  , T.N. Lazareva1  , O.V. Shomina1 
1 Institute of Applied Physics RAS, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
2 Volga State University of Water Transport, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Investigation of the destruction of oil spills, as well as natural biogenic films under strong wind wave conditions is very important for the problem of ocean remote sensing. Stability of slicks to the impact of wind and waves is supposed to depend on their physical characteristics, that is why the presence or absence of slicks on the sea surface can provide information about characteristics and origin of films. This paper presents results of field and laboratory studies of destruction of surfactant films due to intensive surface waves. It is found that the concentration of biogenic surfactants is reduced in the wave breaking areas which is indicated by higher values of the surface tension coefficient, at least at moderate biomass (phytoplankton) concentrations. A film destruction mechanism in wave breaking zones has been investigated in laboratory experiment with artificial surface films. Similar to the results of the field studies, it is shown that the surface tension coefficient grows in the areas of breaking wave crests demonstrating vertical film mixing due to turbulence generated by wave breaking.
Keywords: surfactants, slicks, wind waves, breaking, turbulence, remote sensing
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