Tracking buoys for oil spills
The use of tracking buoys in oil spill response, planning, and training and criteria for the selection of these buoys were studied in conjunction with an experiment conducted in the Gulf of Mexico during March 1994 on the relative motions of several oil spill drifter buoys. For the test, wood chips and cottonseed hulls were used to simulate the motion of the oil. Six different types of buoys and three different positioning and tracking systems, in various combinations, were tested. The first day of the program was conducted in Galveston Bay, the second in the Gulf of Mexico off Galvesion. Significant differences were noted in the movements of the various buoys. Analysis of the data from these experiments suggests that tracking of the buoys should occur for a longer time period than in the experiments in order to reduce the influence of positioning errors.