Submergence Plane Analysis and Modeling for a Fast Current Oil Containment Barrier

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Project Type: 

Students Involved:

Brett Fullerman University of New Hampshire
Richard Roman UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Advisors:

M. Robinson Swift UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering

This report covers a yearlong study and analysis of an oil spill containment device known as the Bay Defender using the submergence plane containment concept. The purpose of the study was to analyze the current submergence plane design and research alternative plane shapes with the hope that future designs can improve oil retention percentages for fast moving currents.

The study consisted of creating near half-scale models of various submergence plane designs, which were then tested in a recirculating flume tank. Lift and drag tests, fluid flow measurements, and bead retention experiments were performed on the two-dimensional scale models. Results show a strong benefit in changing the submergence plane shape to improve dynamic fluid flow on the plane, thereby increasing oil containment at high current speeds.


Available from the National Sea Grant Library (use NHU number to search) or NH Sea Grant


  • SPAM: Submergence Plane Analysis and Modeling for a fast current oil containment barrier (2000). Brett Fullerman and Richard Roman. Advisor: M. Robinson Swift.
modeling oil spill