In Situ Burning of Oil in Ice – Herders Fate, Effects, and Window-of-Opportunity

Videos: Herders in Action

In order to test two new silicone-based herding agents in simulated arctic conditions, an experimental test pool was set up on a 15-cm thick sheet of freshwater ice grown on the Ice Engineering Test Basin at CRREL in 2009. An overhead digital video camera with a fish eye lens was used to record the initial spread of the 15 litres of Kuparuk crude oil and subsequent herding for later analysis. The 4 mL of herder used in each experiment was applied to the water surface around the slick from a syringe.

Open water video

At the beginning of the clip, crude oil is being poured gently down a ramp and you see it beginning to spread out in a circular pattern on the cold water. After about 15 seconds, the clip jumps ahead to where the slick has ceased spreading and has reached equilibrium. The remainder of the clip shows the researcher in fast motion applying the herder onto the water around the edge of the slick, and the oil contracting as the herder touches the periphery of the slick.

Ice blocks video

This test involved ice blocks cut from the basin surface and distributed around the pool to simulate drift ice. The clip starts with the oil being poured onto the water, then jumps to the fully spread oil at equilibrium, before showing the application of the herder (real time). The clip ends with a view of the herded oil circles at the end of the experiment, one hour later.