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Multi Partner Research Initiative (MPRI) - Comparing Recent Advances in Estimating and Measuring Oil Slick Thickness

Office/Division Program
Project Number
Research Performing Activity
BSEE/NOAA/Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
Research Principal Investigator
Dr. Lisa DiPinto
Research Contract Award Value

This Multi Partner Research Initiative (MPRI) project was a collaborative effort between BSEE, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the US Coast Guard (USCG), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), University of New Hampshire Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC), Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI), and Johns Hopkins to advance the response community’s ability to characterize and measure oil slick thickness through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and independent systematic technology assessment and testing.

The project:

  1. Convened a multi-partner research workshop of experts developing slick thickness technologies to share knowledge and begin planning for a comparative assessment and testing of these technologies.
  2. Developed a protocol to consistently create oil slicks of relatively uniform thickness for slicks as thin as 1 micrometer.
  3. Conducted a series of controlled tests at CRRC to assess the ability of technologies to characterize and measure oil thickness between 1-2000 micrometers.
  4. Conducted tests at Ohmsett to assess technology performance in an environment that is more likely to be encountered during an actual oil spill.
Latest progress update

The project is complete and the final report is posted below. The final report can also be found at

Associated Attachments