Measurement of oil layer thickness on water is an important process for oil spill response. The most common method to measure the oil layer thickness is by using sonar measurements.
Oil layers are measured sometimes by using sonar measurements. Sonar is a technique that uses sound waves to measure the distance from an object and its depth below the surface of water.
Sonar measurements are taken by placing a sensor on a boat and sending it across the surface of water in a straight line.
The frequency at which these sound waves bounce off the bottom of the water, called their “reflection”, will depend on what they hit (e.g., sand, rocks, or oil).
This technique is based on the principle that light travels at different speeds through different media. The light will take longer to travel through the oil than it will through the water, and this difference in time can be measured.
The thickness of an oil layer on water can be calculated by measuring how much time it takes for light to travel from a source to a detector across the interface of air-oil-water or air-water-oil.
LEAKWISE sensors work by using a high-frequency electromagnetic absorption technology to monitor the floating oil on water. The floating sensor contains a transmitter and antenna which continuously sends and receives data.
Water has a higher absorption rate of electromagnetic energy than hydrocarbons, so changes in the absorption rate can indicate the presence or buildup of hydrocarbons.
The LEAKWISE sensors not only enable reliable detection of hydrocarbons, but can also provide valid indications of the thickness of the hydrocarbon layer and how much water is in an oily emulsion.
The LEAKWISE sensor can also detect the interface between any two liquids, even if they are immiscible like oil and water.