Estimating the Volume of a Spill
By observing the thickness of the film of oil and its appearance on the surface of the water, it is possible to estimate the quantity of oil spilled. If the surface area of the spill is also known, the total volume of the oil can be calculated.
Oil spill model systems are used by industry and government to assist in planning and emergency decision making. Of critical importance for the skill of the oil spill model prediction is the adequate description of the wind and current fields. There is a worldwide oil spill modelling (WOSM) program.
|First trace of color
|Bright bands of color
|Colors begin to dull
|Colors are much darker
Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)
For more information (background, pictures, experiments and references): Oil Spills: K-12 Experiments & Background Information