La Houille Blanche
Number 5, Octobre 2007
|Page(s)||68 - 73|
|Section||Qualités des eaux marines : hydrocarbure et barrages flottants|
|Published online||31 October 2007|
La problématique des barrages flottants anti-hydrocarbures
The issue of floating oil spill containment booms
Centre de documentation, de recherche et d’expérimentations sur les pollutions accidentelles des eaux, CEDRE, Brest, 715 rue Alain Colas – CS 41836 – 29218 BREST Cedex 2, France
2 Centre d’études techniques maritimes et fluviales, CETMEF, Brest, Technopole Brest-Iroise – BP 5 – 29280 Plouzané, France
The French strategy to respond to accidental pollution at sea or in inland waters is defined by the POLMAR contingency plans. After a short reminder of their historical setting, a presentation is given of the equipment available in the POLMAR-land stockpiles (land-based part of the POLMAR plans), which are distributed along the metropolitan and overseas coastlines. Inside these devices, floating booms constitute a major equipment to respond to pollution due to oil spillage. Based upon the principle of containing the floating pollution on the water surface, they are used as fixed protections, as well as towed by vessels in order to enhance the recovery of the oil at sea. Despite their being widely used, and their frequent designation as “floating barriers” which gives the false image of a guaranteed protection, booms are, in practice, far from being fully efficient in real environment, and present multiple losses of efficiency, some of which are independent of the quality of the equipment itself, but result purely from hydrodynamic phenomena. Beyond the necessity, induced by this aspect, of a rigorous management and use of these stockpiles, the need for a better understanding of such phenomena led scientists to study theoretically the flow around these booms, from the seventies on. Based upon these works, as well as on the practical experience gained on the subject by CEDRE and CETMEF for more than thirty years, the present publication introduces the issue of floating booms, by presenting the diverse phenomena detrimental to booms efficiency, more particularly as far as hydrodynamic aspects are concerned.
© Société Hydrotechnique de France, 2007
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