Oil Code Thickness and Concentration Values scale

Oil Slick from IStockPhoto

GLOSSARY OF STANDARD OIL SPILL OBSERVATION TERMS

OIL COLOR AND APPEARANCE TERMS:

Sheen: Sheen is a very thin layer of oil (less than 0.0002 inches or 0.005 mm) floating on the water surface and is the most common form of oil seen in the later stages of a spill. According to their thickness, sheens vary in color from rainbows, for the thicker layers, to silver/gray for thinner layers, to almost transparent for the thinnest layers.

Metallic: The next distinct oil color, thicker than rainbow, that tends to reflect the color of the sky, but with some element of oil color, often between a light gray and a dull brown. Metallic is a “mirror to the sky.”

Transitional Dark (or True) color: The next distinct oil on water layer thickness after metallic, that tends to reflect a transitional dark or true oil color. At the “Transitional” stage, most of the oil will be just thick enough to look like its natural color (typically a few thousandths of an inch, or few hundredths of a millimeter), and yet thin enough in places to appear somewhat patchy.

Dark (or True) Color: Represents a continuous true oil color (i.e., its natural color), commonly occurring at thicknesses of at least a hundredth of an inch (or, a little over a tenth of a millimeter). Oil thickness at this “Dark” stage (especially in a calm and/or contained state) could range over several orders of magnitude. At sea, however, after reaching an equilibrium condition, most oils would not achieve an average thickness beyond a few millimeters. Heavy fuel oils and highly weathered or emulsified oils (especially on very cold water) could, of course, reach equilibrium states considerably greater than a few millimeters.

OIL STRUCTURE/DISTRIBUTION TERMS:

Streamers: Narrow bands or lines of oil (sheens, dark or emulsified) with relatively clean water on each side. Streamers may be caused by wind and/or currents, but should not be confused with multiple parallel bands of oil associated with “windrows,” or with “convergence zones or lines” commonly associated with temperature and/or salinity discontinuities.

Convergence Zone: A long narrow band of oil (and possibly other materials) often caused by the convergence of two bodies of water with different temperatures and/or salinities. Unlike “windrows” and “streamers,” commonly associated with wind, convergence zones are normally associated with the interface between differing water masses, or with the effects of tidal and depth changes that cause currents to converge due to density differences or due to large bathymetric changes. Such zones may be several kilometers in length, and consist of dark or emulsified oil and heavy debris surrounded by sheens.

Windrows: Multiple bands or streaks of oil (sheens, dark, or mousse) that line up nearly parallel with the wind. Such streaks (typically including seaweed, foam, and other organic material) are caused by a series of counter rotating vortices in the surface layers that produce alternating convergent and divergent zones. Sometimes referred to as Langmuir vortices (after a researcher in 1938), the resulting “windrows” begin to form with wind speeds of approximately six knots or more.

Patches: An oil configuration or “structure” that reflects a broad range of shapes and dimensions. Numerous “tarballs” could combine to form a “patch”; oil of various colors and consistency could form a patch or single layer 10s of cm to 10s (or even 100s) of meters in diameter; and a large patch of dark or rainbow oil could have patches of emulsion within it. Patches of oily debris, barely able to float with sediment/plants in them, might be called “tarmats,” circular patches at sea might be called “pancakes”; REALLY BIG patches might simply be called “continuous” slicks. But, they are all “patches.”

Tarballs: Discrete, and usually pliable, globules of weathered oil, ranging from mostly oil to highly emulsified with varying amount of debris and/or sediment. Tarballs may vary in size from millimeters to 20- 30 centimeters across. Depending on exactly how “weathered,” or hardened, the outer layer of the tarballs is, sheen may or may not be present.

No Structure: Random eddies or swirls of oil at any one or more thicknesses. This distribution of oil is normally the result of little to no winds and/or currents.

OTHER OIL SLICK TERMS:

Black oil: A black or very dark brown-colored layer of oil. Depending on the quantity spilled, oil tends to spread out quickly over the water surface to a thickness of about one millimeter. However, from the air it is impossible to tell how thick a black oil layer is. The minimum thicknesses for a continuous black oil layer would commonly be around a hundredth of an inch to about two tenth of a millimeter. Dark (or Black) oils just begin to look their natural color at around a thousandth of an inch (or, a few hundredths of a millimeter). See chart on page 10.

Dispersion: The breaking up of an oil slick into small droplets that are mixed into the water column as a result of sea surface turbulence. For response purposes, dispersed oil is defined as oil droplets that are too small to refloat back to the surface. The physical properties of the oil and the sea state are the main factors that determine how much oil is dispersed. Chemical dispersants can be used to change the chemical properties of the oil and enhance oil dispersion.

Emulsification: The formation of a water-in-oil mixture. The tendency for emulsification to occur varies with different oils and is much more likely to occur under high energy conditions (winds and waves). This mixture is frequently referred to as “mousse.” Emulsification will impact the cleanup by significantly increasing the volume and viscosity of the oil to be collected.

Entrainment: The loss of oil from containment when it is pulled under a boom by a strong current. Entrainment typically occurs from booms deployed perpendicular to currents greater than 3/4 knot.

Recoverable Oil: Oil that is in a thick enough layer on the water to be recovered by conventional techniques and equipment. Only black or dark brown oil, mousse, and heavy Metallic layers are generally considered thick enough to be effectively recovered by skimmers. Thinner films may be recoverable with sorbents and/or concentrated with booms or chemical herders to enhance their recovery.

Slick: Oil spilled on the water that absorbs energy and dampens out the surface waves making the oil appear smoother or “slicker” than the surrounding water. “Slicks” refer to oil layers that are thicker than Rainbow and Silver “sheens”. Natural slicks, from plants or animals, also may occur on the water surface and may be mistaken for oil slicks.

Weathering: A combination of physical and environmental processes such as evaporation, dissolution, dispersion, photo-oxidation, and emulsification that act on oil and change its physical properties and composition.

http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/book_shelf/1462_FINAL%20OWJA%202007.pdf

3 Comments »

  1. […] a variable dichroic filter out of the emulsion, not unlike the color that appears in oil slicks: Oil Code Thickness and Concentration Values scale @ James McGirk Apocryphal – because no one, including the original photographer, was ever able to duplicate the […]

  2. Ekansh Malhotra says:

    Good one! Enjoyed reading!

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C.V.

N.B. for privacy reasons this is usually out of date. Contact me for the latest version.

EDUCATION

Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, NY
MFA, Writing, Fiction, Oct. 2011.
Thesis: Fly the Black Flag of Himself.

Columbia University School of General Studies, New York, NY
BA, Cum Laude, May 2007.
Major: Literature/Writing
Thesis: Indian Made Foreign Liquor

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2018 Guest Lecturer, University of California Santa Cruz
Lectured on journalism for a Kresge Core Class.

2017-2018 Public Fellow, Oklahoma Center for the Humanities
Homelands Seminar.

Instructor in English, Northeastern State University
Fall 2015-2017 (as instructor)
Fall 2014-Spring 2015 (as adjunct)
Courses include: Teaching Travel and Adventure Writing (ENG3013) – an upper-division writing class focused on nonfiction; Intro to Creative Writing (ENG3043); Composition II (ENG 1213) and Composition I (ENG1113).

Workshop Instructor, Oklahoma City University
January 2015
Taught a one-day graduate workshop called “On knowing when to steal and make things up.”

Adjunct Professor, University of Tulsa
Fall 2014
Taught two sections of ENG1033, Exposition and Argumentation. 

Adjunct Professor, Bacone College
Spring 2014
Teaching two courses of English 1113, Composition I.
One section of SPCH1713 Speech and Critical Thinking.

Teaching Assistant, Columbia University
Fall 2010
Worked with Prof. Heidi Julavits to develop curriculum for Fiction: A Primer, the introductory graduate survey course for Columbia’s graduate fiction students. 

Fiction Editor, Columbia University
Fall 2009—May 2011
Edited the fiction pages of Columbia University’s premiere literary journal, Columbia Journal of Art and Literature. Solicited authors and edited manuscripts. Four direct reports.

TEACHING COMPETENCIES, INTERESTS

Contemporary fiction
Contemporary non-fiction
New media / Internet
Publishing / communications
Writing fiction / non-fiction
Journalism / editing
Globalization
Fine Art / Contemporary Art History

PUBLICATIONS

Novel/Book-length CNF

A Grand Theory of Everything, Amazon Publishing, Sept. 2015.
American Outlaws, Amazon Publishing, Oct. 2014.
The New Flesh in progress.
Indian Made Foreign Liquor. (2013) Sold to Chiasmus Media.

Anthologies

Forthcoming collection of 3quarksdaily essays.
“The Op in the Expanded Field” &Now Vol 3: Innovative Fiction Awards. Lake Forest College, NC: &Now Books, April 2015. Anthology.
Various pubs. A Voice Was Sounding 3 & 4. Tulsa, OK: This Land Press, November 2014. Anthology
“Claire Accelerates.” Todos Somos Migrantes. Eds. John Washington and Daniela Ugaz. Mexico City: Sur +, forthcoming 2013. Anthology.
“Dominion.” Thesis Anthology. New York City: Columbia School of the Arts/Writing, 2011. Anthology.

Magazines and Journals, Fiction.

“The Plastic Ship.” Under submission.
“Through a 3D Scanner Darkly.” 3quarksdaily.com
“3 Buboes.” 3quarksdaily, Aug. 2013. Online.
“The Godling of Greater Kailash.” Manhattan Magazine Jan/Feb 2013. Print.
“The Op in the Expanded Field.” NNATAN. Issue 0. Nnatan.org, Aug. 2012. Online.
“Memory Scraped onto Landscape with Smell.” 3am magazine.
3ammagazine.com, Jun 2012. Online.
“Kim Jong-un contemplates his failed launch.” 3quarksdaily.
3quarksdaily.com, Feb 2012. Online.
“Armour Brand Desiccated Thyroid bottle (C. 1900).” Gigantic. Issue 3. “Gigantic Indoors.” Thegiganticmag.com, Sept. 2011. Online.
“The Tramp Steamer.” The Drum. Thedrumlitmag.com, May 2011. Audio Magazine.
“The Garbling.” Fence Magazine, Winter 2011. Print. 

Magazines and Journals, Nonfiction.

“Has Satoshi Vision of the Future been Corrupted?” 21Crytpos.
“Predicting the Next Bull Market” 21Cryptos.
“The Future of Blockchain – Predicting the Future” 21Cryptos.
“Bitcoin in Venezuela” 21Cryptos.
“Vaporwave” Angeles Review.
“Oklahoma’s Class System.” This Land Press.
“Growing up as an Expat.” Oklahoma Humanities Magazine. Forthcoming.
The Horror of the Ouachita Mountains” THIS LAND PRESS
“Restaurant Reviews: Muskogee, Tulsa, Tahlequah.” Oklahoma Today. Forthcoming.
“Art, Literature and All the Crude in America.” Lithub.com. May 2015. Forthcoming. Online.
“My Grandfather’s Imposter.” Roads and Kingdoms. Aug. 2015
“Oklahoma Beards.” Oklahoma Today. April/May 2015. Print.
“Profile: Jenks Football Coach.” Oklahoma Today. January/February 2015. Print.
“Beauty, Purpose, and Preservation.” This Land Press. Nov. 15, 2014. Print.
Satan Comes to Oklahoma City.” The Paris Review (daily). Theparisreview.org. Nov. 1, 2014. Online.
“Tulsa Modernism.” Oklahoma Today. November/December 2014. Print.
Heavy Heart, Empty Heart.” Columbia Magazine. Fall 2014. Print.
“Ancestry Days.” Oklahoma Today. August/September 2014. Print.
The New Nepal.” Roads and Kingdoms. Roadsandkingdoms.com. August 2014. Online.
Google’s John Hanke.” Wired. July 2014. Print.
The Surprisingly Strong Case for Colonizing Venus.” CITYLAB. The Atlantic. Online.
How-to Campfire Cooking.” Oklahoma Today. June/July. Print.
“Beauty, Purpose, Preservation” This Land Press. Print. Forthcoming Aug 15. 2014
“The New Nepal” Roads and Kingdoms. Online. Forthcoming Jul/Aug.
“Kickstarter Equation” Wired. Print. July.
“Inside the Studio: Troy Jackson” Art Focus Oklahoma. Print. May/Jun 2014.
“Indian Country’s Neuromancers” This Land Press. Print. Mar. 2014
“Datastream” Wired. Print. Mar. 2014
“Petrostate” This Land Press. Print. Dec. 1, 2013.
“An Ethnography of the Elite.” Forthcoming. Print.
“Manhattan and the Mephistophelean Mind.” 3quarksdaily. Nov. 2013. Online.
“When the Rodeo Clowns Came.” 3quarksdaily. Sept. 2013
“Moving Down Yonder to the Indian Nation.” This Land Press. Sept. 15, 2013. Print.
“Doomsday Preppers and Reddit Pizza.” Wired. July 2013. Print.
“The Metropolitan Trilogy.” 3quarksdaily. July 2013. Online.
“The Dazzling Debut is Dead.” Newsweek-DailyBeast. Forthcoming June 4, 2013. Online.
“The Cherokee Nation Constitutional Crisis.” This Land Press, May 2013. Print.
“Remote Viewing in the Sooner State.” The Paris Review. Theparisreview.org, May 2013. Online.
“The Great Spy’s Dream.” 3quarksdaily, 3quarksdaily.com. May 2013. Online.
“Inside the Abbatoir.” This Land Press. April 15, 2013. Print.
“Remembering Life in Arcosanti.” Wired. Wired.com, Apr. 2013. Online.
“The Game of (Not) Life.” 3am magazine3ammagazine.com, Mar. 2013. Online.
“The State of Cherokee Nation.” TIME. Time.com, Mar. 11, 2013. Online.
“Destination: Oklahoma.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Mar. 2013. Online.
“A Battered Bag of Memories.” Chronicle of Higher EducationChronicle Review, Feb. 25, 2013. Print.
“Silicon Valley: Literary Capital of the 21st Century.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Feb. 2013. Online.
“Writing and the World of Tomorrow.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Jan. 2013. Online.
“A Universal History of Online Iniquity.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Dec. 2013. Online.
“Jesse Ventura Suspects a Conspiracy Against His Show About Conspiracies.” The Atlantic. Theatlantic.com, Dec 17, 2012. Online.
“M.F.A. Madness.” Chronicle of Higher Education. Chronicle Review. Nov. 12, 2012. Print.
“Art World Apostate.” Oxford American. Oxfordamerican.org, Nov. 2012. Online.
“A Libertarian Paradise in Honduras.” Los Angeles Review of Books. Lareviewofbooks.com, Nov 2012. Online.
“A Republican Literature of the Americas.” Newsweek-DailyBeast. Thedailybeast.com, Nov. 5, 2012. Online.
“Literary Magazines: Read All About It.” The Economist. Prospero blog. Theeconomist.com, Oct. 2012. Online.
“The Q&A: James Ellroy.” The Economist. Prospero blog. Theeconomist.com, Oct. 2012. Online.
“The Smug Technocrats who will Rule Tomorrow.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Oct. 2012. Online.
“Common People: Class and the ’80s.” The Awl. Theawl.com, Aug. 2012. Online.
“A Requiem for Roscoe.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Aug. 2012. Online.
“Google on the L Train: Sci-fi, Wifi and the MTA.” The Awl. Theawl.com, Jul. 2012. Online.
“The Romance of Mayhem and High Explosive.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Jul. 2012. Online.
“Our First Expatriate President.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, May 2012. Online.
“Translit is Neither New nor Subversive.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Jun. 2012. Online.
“Nobody Wins.” The Economist. Prospero. Theeconomist.com, Apr. 2012. Online.
“Diabolical Women.” The Economist. Prospero. The economist.com. Mar. 2012. Online.
“Solving the Inequality Equation.” Columbia GSAS SuperScript. Spring 2012. Print.
“The Different Dialects of Serial Murder.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Feb. 2012. Online.
“Will the Maine Coon Become an American Icon?” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Jan. 2012. Online.
“Thing Writing.” 3QuarkDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Nov. 2011. Online.
“Gripes and Halloween Horrors.” 3QuarksDaily, 3quarksdaily.com, Oct. 2011. Online.
“Marco Polo in Boulder, Colorado.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Oct. 2011. Online.
“The Last MFA Essay I Will Ever Write.” 3QuarksDaily, 3quarksdaily.com, Sep. 2011. Online.
“A Dose of Bile.” 3QuarksDaily, 3quarksdaily.com, Aug. 2011. Online.
“The Thirty-Third Internet Connection in New Delhi.” 3QuarksDaily, 3quarksdaily.com, Jul. 2011. Online.
“Writing for Machines.” 3QuarksDaily, 3quarksdaily.com, Jun. 2011. Online.
“Imagining an Expat Aesthetic.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, May 2011. Online.
“After the Internet was Shut-off.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Apr. 2011 Online.
“The Starter Gallery.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarkdaily.com, Mar. 2011. Online.
“An Attempt at Unraveling Ridgewood, Queens.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Feb. 2011. Online.
“Could Student Loan Debt Spark Insurrection?” 3QuarksDaily, 3quarksdaily, Jan. 2011. Online.
“Spark Gaps and Circuits.” 3QuarksDaily. 3quarksdaily.com, Dec. 2010. Online.
“Baptism by Soda.” 3QuarksDaliy. 3quarksdaily.com, Nov. 2010. Online.
“A Brief Reflection on Czar Guiterrez’ Bombardier, HTML Giant. Htmlgiant.com, Oct. 2010. Online.
“The Q&A Tom McCarthy.” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Sep. 2010. Online.
“The Q&A Lorin Stein.” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Apr. 2010. Online.
“Whitney’s Tepid Biennial.” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Mar. 2010. Online.
“Can You Really Rank Writing Programmes?” More Intelligent Life, Moreintelligentlife.com, Dec. 2009. Online.
“Strange Breeds.” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Oct. 2009. Online.
“The Q&A: Kurt Kauper, Artist.” More Intelligent Life, Moreintelligentlife.com, Sep. 2010. Online.
“Art And (Gauche Breaches Of) Etiquette.” More Intelligent Life, Moreintelligentlife.com, Aug. 2009. Online.
“Another New York Peep Show.” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Aug. 2009. Online.
“A Bandit On The High Line.” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Aug. 2009. Online
“Harlem’s Rising Artists.” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Aug. 2009. Online.
“Charles Saatchi Has An Addiction.” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Aug. 2009. Online.
“CIA Assassinations,” The L Magazine. Aug. 2009. Print.
“The Life And Death Of A Hipster King,” More Intelligent Life, Moreintelligentlife.com, Jul. 2009. Online.
“What Is An Alien Artist To Do?” More Intelligent Life. Moreintelligentlife.com, Jun. 2009. Online.
“An Artfully Disjointed Venice Biennale.” More Intelligent Life, Moreintelligentlife.com, Jun. 2009. Online.
“Iggy Pop’s Ambient, Literary Jazz Album.” More Intelligent Life, Moreintelligentlife.com, May. 2009. Online.
“The Q&A: Sasha Grey, Performer.” More Intelligent Life, Moreintelligentlife.com, May 2009. Online.
“Why Attack Hotels?” Culture 11, Dec. 2008. Print.
“Ironclad Closet.” Long Island City Magazine, 2008. Print.
“The Madness of the Upperclass.” The L Magazine, Jul. 2008. Print.
“Cyberpunk Is Not Dead.” The L Magazine, Jul. 2007. Print.
“Ben Jonson’s Rebus.” Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism, May 2007. Print.

Art

Art 365 Artist Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition 2016-2017
“Faculty Show” 2014, photography display at Bacone College in Fall 2014.
Photo Essay, Stevehuffphoto.com, July 2014.
“Untitled (Over the Void)” 2012, video stills from a 6 min 35 second video. James McGirk and Jaret Vadera.

Public Events

American Anthropological Association, Nov. 2018
Art 365 Events, various, May 2017-Jan. 2018
Readings, NSU Writing. Dec. 2017
This Land Press, July 2017
Chickasaw Literary Festival 2017
This Land Press, July 2016
Art on the Hill, Roger State University, Sept. 2015
Arts on the Avenue, Nonfiction Panel, Jun. 2015
Readings, NSU Writing. Dec. 2014
Bumpkinitis 12, OSU Creative Writing, Nov. 2014
Tahlequah Writers Club, Aug. 2014
“Literary Death Match,” Tulsa. Judge. Oct. 2013
“Columbia Faculty Selects.” KGB Bar. Jan. 2013. Reader.