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ABSTRACT: Variations in Fluorescent Response of Oil Slicks using an Airborne Laser Fluorosensor System

Messent, Barry1, Dianne Edwards2, Stuart Baron-Hay3, and Bill Witham3
(1) Bast Enterprises, Vic, Australia 
(2) AGSO, Canberra, ACT 
(3) WGC, Floreat WA, Australia

Oil fluorescence can be detected using an airborne laser Fluorosensor system (ALF). During controlled trials, approximately one litre of oil was placed on the sea-surface and several flight runs were then carried out to monitor the changes in the oil slick morphology and it's fluorescent response. The oils assessed were high and low API oils and a processed oil, kerosene.

The low API oils remained as one slick for the duration of the experiment. The high API oils rapidly broke up into a number of smaller slicks. The change in fluorescent response during the course of the experiment reflected a number of processes. As the oil spread out, the thickness of the slick decreased. This in turn is detected in the fluorescent response with changes in fluorescent intensity and Water Raman. There is also a difference in response from the laboratory tests and those observed on the sea-surface. This is due to the process of re-absorption.

During the monitoring of the high API oil slick, it was possible to observe evaporation of the light aromatic hydrocarbons.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia