Publications

2016
Zhao L, Boufadel MC, Lee K, King T, Loney N, Geng X. Evolution of bubble side Distribution from gas blowout in shallow water. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans [Internet]. 2016;10. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Gas is often emanated from the sea bed during a subsea oil and gas blowout. The size of a gas bubble changes due to gas dissolution in the ambient water and expansion as a result of a decrease in water pressure during the rise. It is important to understand the fate and transport of gas bubbles for the purpose of environmental and safety concerns. In this paper, we used the numerical model, VDROP-J to simulate gas formation in jet/plume upon release, and dissolution and expansion while bubble rising during a relatively shallow subsea gas blowout. The model predictions were an excellent match to the experimental data. Then a gas dissolution and expansion module was included in the VDROP-J model to predict the fate and transport of methane bubbles rising due to a blowout through a 0.10 m vertical ori- fice. The numerical results indicated that gas bubbles would increase the mixing energy in released jets, especially at small distances and large distances from the orifice. This means that models that predict the bubble size distribution (BSD) should account for this additional mixing energy. It was also found that only bubbles of certain sizes would reach the water surfaces; small bubbles dissolve fast in the water column, while the size of the large bubbles decreases. This resulted in a BSD that was bimodal near the ori- fice, and then became unimodal.

Almeda R, Connelly TL, Buskey EJ. How much crude oil can zooplankton ingest? Estimating the quantity of dispersed crude oil defecated by planktonic copepods. Environmental Pollution [Internet]. 2016;208 (B) :645-654. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We investigated and quantified defecation rates of crude oil by 3 species of marine planktonic copepods (Temora turbinataAcartia tonsa, and Parvocalanus crassirostris) and a natural copepod assemblage after exposure to mechanically or chemically dispersed crude oil. Between 88 and 100% of the analyzed fecal pellets from three species of copepods and a natural copepod assemblage exposed for 48 h to physically or chemically dispersed light crude oil contained crude oil droplets. Crude oil droplets inside fecal pellets were smaller (median diameter: 2.4–3.5 μm) than droplets in the physically and chemically dispersed oil emulsions (median diameter: 6.6 and 8.0 μm, respectively). This suggests that copepods can reject large crude oil droplets or that crude oil droplets are broken into smaller oil droplets before or during ingestion. Depending on the species and experimental treatments, crude oil defecation rates ranged from 5.3 to 245 ng-oil copepod−1 d−1, which represent a mean weight-specific defecation rate of 0.026 μg-oil μg-Ccopepod1 d−1. Considering a dispersed crude oil concentration commonly found in the water column after oil spills (1 μl L−1) and copepod abundances in high productive coastal areas, copepods may defecate ∼1.3–2.6 mg-oil m−3 d−1, which would represent ∼0.15%–0.30% of the total dispersed oil per day. Our results indicate that ingestion and subsequent defecation of crude oil by planktonic copepods has a small influence on the overall mass of oil spills in the short term, but may be quantitatively important in the flux of oil from surface water to sediments and in the transfer of low-solubility, toxic petroleum hydrocarbons into food webs after crude oil spills in the sea.

Zhao L, Boufadel MC, Adams E, Socolofsky SA, Lee K, Nedwed T. Simulation of scenarios of oil droplet formation from the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2016. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Knowledge of the droplet size distribution (DSD) from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout is an important step in predicting the fate and transport of the released oil. Due to the absence of measurements of the DSD from the DWH incident, we considered herein hypothetical scenarios of releases that explore the realistic parameter space using a thoroughly calibrated DSD model, VDROP-J, and we attempted to provide bounds on the range of droplet sizes from the DWH blowout within 200 m of the wellhead. The scenarios include conditions without and with the presence of dispersants, different dispersant treatment efficiencies, live oil and dead oil properties, and varying oil flow rate, gas flow rate, and orifice diameter. The results, especially for dispersant-treated oil, are very different from recent modeling studies in the literature.

2015
Zhao L, Boufadel MC, Adams E, Socolofsky S, King T, Lee K, Nedwed T. Simulation of scenarios of oil droplet formation from the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2015;101 (1) :304-319. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Knowledge of the droplet size distribution (DSD) from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout is an important step in predicting the fate and transport of the released oil. Due to the absence of measurements of the DSD from the DWH incident, we considered herein hypothetical scenarios of releases that explore the realistic parameter space using a thoroughly calibrated DSD model, VDROP-J, and we attempted to provide bounds on the range of droplet sizes from the DWH blowout within 200 m of the wellhead. The scenarios include conditions without and with the presence of dispersants, different dispersant treatment efficiencies, live oil and dead oil properties, and varying oil flow rate, gas flow rate, and orifice diameter. The results, especially for dispersant-treated oil, are very different from recent modeling studies in the literature.

Bacosa HP, Liu Z, Erdner DL. Natural sunlight shapes crude oil-degrading bacterial communities in northern Gulf of Mexico surface waters. Front. Microbiol [Internet]. 2015;6 (1325). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill in 2010, an enormous amount of oil was observed in the deep and surface waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Surface waters are characterized by intense sunlight and high temperature during summer. While the oil-degrading bacterial communities in the deep-sea plume have been widely investigated, the effect of natural sunlight on those in oil polluted surface waters remains unexplored to date. In this study, we incubated surface water from the DWH site with amendments of crude oil, Corexit dispersant, or both for 36 d under natural sunlight in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The bacterial community was analyzed over time for total abundance, density of alkane and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degraders, and community composition via pyrosequencing. Our results showed that, for treatments with oil and/or Corexit, sunlight significantly reduced bacterial diversity and evenness and was a key driver of shifts in bacterial community structure. In samples containing oil or dispersant, sunlight greatly reduced abundance of the Cyanobacterium Synechococcus but increased the relative abundances of Alteromonas, Marinobacter, Labrenzia, Sandarakinotalea, Bartonella, and Halomonas. Dark samples with oil were represented by members of Thalassobius, Winogradskyella, Alcanivorax, Formosa, Pseudomonas, Eubacterium, Erythrobacter, Natronocella, and Coxiella. Both oil and Corexit inhibited the Candidatus Pelagibacter with or without sunlight exposure. For the first time, we demonstrated the effects of light in structuring microbial communities in water with oil and/or Corexit. Overall, our findings improve understanding of oil pollution in surface water, and provide unequivocal evidence that sunlight is a key factor in determining bacterial community composition and dynamics in oil polluted marine waters.

Hinow P, Nihongi A, Strickler, Rudi J. Statistical Mechanics of Zooplankton. PloS one [Internet]. 2015;10 (8). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Statistical mechanics provides the link between microscopic properties of many-particle systems and macroscopic properties such as pressure and temperature. Observations of similar "microscopic" quantities exist for the motion of zooplankton, as well as many species of other social animals. Herein, we propose to take average squared velocities as the definition of the "ecological temperature" of a population under different conditions on nutrients, light, oxygen and others. We test the usefulness of this definition on observations of the crustacean zooplankton Daphnia pulicaria. In one set of experiments, D. pulicaria is infested with the pathogen Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera. We find that infested D. pulicaria under light exposure have a significantly greater ecological temperature, which puts them at a greater risk of detection by visual predators. In a second set of experiments, we observe D. pulicaria in cold and warm water, and in darkness and under light exposure. Overall, our ecological temperature is a good discriminator of the crustacean's swimming behavior.

Murphy DW, Li C, d'Albignac V, Morra D, Katz J. Splash behavior and oily marine aerosol production by raindrops impacting oil slicks. Journal of Fluid Mechanics [Internet]. 2015;780 :536-577. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The high speed impact of a droplet on a bulk fluid at high We is not well understood but is relevant to the production of marine aerosol by raindrop impact on the sea surface. These splashes produce a subsurface cavity and a crown which closes into a bubble canopy, but a floating layer of immiscible oil, such as a crude oil slick, alters splash dynamics. The effects of oil layer fluid properties and thickness and droplet size and impact speed are examined by high speed visualization. Oil layer rupture and crown behavior are classified by dimensional scaling. The subsurface cavity volume for impact on thick layers is shown to depend on Re, though canopy formation at high Re introduces a competing We effect since rapid canopy closure is found to retard cavity expansion. Time-resolved kinematic measurements show that thin crude oil slicks similarly alter crown closure and cavity growth. The size and spatial distributions of airborne droplets are examined using high speed holographic microscopy. Droplets have a bimodal distribution with peaks at 50 and 225 μm and are clustered by size at different elevation angles. Small droplets (50 μm) are ejected primarily at shallow angles, indicating production by splashing within the first 100 μs and by breakup of microligaments. Larger droplets (225 μm) are found at steeper elevation angles, indicating later production by capillary instability acting on large ligaments protruding upward from the crown. Intermittent droplet release while the ligaments grow and sweep upward is thought to contribute to the size-dependent spatial ordering. Greater numbers of small droplets are produced at high elevation angles when a crude oil layer is present, indicating satellite droplet formation from ligament breakup. A crude oil layer also increases the target fluid Oh, leading to creation of an intact ejecta sheet, which then ruptures to form aerosolized oil droplets.

Prosperetti A, Tseng Y-H. Local interfacial stability near a zero vorticity point. Journal of Fluid Mechanics [Internet]. 2015;776 :5-36. Publisher's VersionAbstract

It is often observed that small drops or bubbles detach from the interface separating two co-flowing immiscible fluids. The size of these drops or bubbles can be orders of magnitude smaller than the length scales of the parent fluid mass. Examples are tip-streaming from drops or coaxial jets in microfluidics, selective withdrawal, ‘skirt’ formation around bubbles or drops, and others. It is argued that these phenomena are all reducible to a common instability that can occur due to a local convergence of streamlines in the neighbourhood of a zero-vorticity point or line on the interface. When surfactants are present, this converging flow tends to concentrate them in these regions weakening the effect of surface tension, which is the only mechanism opposing the instability. Several analytical and numerical calculations are presented to substantiate this interpretation of the phenomenon. In addition to some idealized cases, the results of two-dimensional simulations of co-flowing jets and a rising drop are presented.

Vaccari L, Allan D, Sharifi-Mood N, Singh A, Leheny R, Stebe K. Films of bacteria at interfaces: three stages of behaviour. Soft Matter [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Bacterial attachment to a fluid interface can lead to the formation of a film with physicochemical properties that evolve with time. We study the time evolution of interface (micro)mechanics for interfaces between oil and bacterial suspensions by following the motion of colloidal probes trapped by capillarity to determine the interface microrheology. Initially, active bacteria at and near the interface drive superdiffusive motion of the colloidal probes. Over timescales of minutes, the bacteria form a viscoelastic film which we discuss as a quasi-two-dimensional, active, glassy system. To study late stage mechanics of the film, we use pendant drop elastometry. The films, grown over tens of hours on oil drops, are expanded and compressed by changing the drop volume. For small strains, by modeling the films as 2D Hookean solids, we estimate the film elastic moduli, finding values similar to those reported in the literature for the bacteria themselves. For large strains, the films are highly hysteretic. Finally, from wrinkles formed on highly compressed drops, we estimate film bending energies. The dramatic restructuring of the interface by such robust films has broad implications, e.g. in the study of active colloids, in understanding the community dynamics of bacteria, and in applied settings including bioremediation.

Bacosa HP, Erdner DL, Liu Z. Differentiating the roles of photooxidation and biodegradation in the weathering of Light Louisiana Sweet crude oil in surface water from the Deepwater Horizon site. Marine Pollution Bulletin [Internet]. 2015;95 (1 ) :265-272. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We determined the contributions of photooxidation and biodegradation to the weathering of Light Louisiana Sweet crude oil by incubating surface water from the Deepwater Horizon site under natural sunlight and temperature conditions. N-alkane biodegradation rate constants were ca. ten-fold higher than the photooxidation rate constants. For the 2–3 ring and 4–5 ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), photooxidation rate constants were 0.08–0.98 day−1 and 0.01–0.07 day−1, respectively. The dispersant Corexit enhanced degradation of n-alkanes but not of PAHs. Compared to biodegradation, photooxidation increased transformation of 4–5 ring PAHs by 70% and 3–4 ring alkylated PAHs by 36%. For the first time we observed that sunlight inhibited biodegradation of pristane and phytane, possibly due to inhibition of the bacteria that can degrade branched-alkanes. This study provides quantitative measures of oil degradation under relevant field conditions crucial for understanding and modeling the fate of spilled oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

2014
Liu Z, Liu J, Gardner WS, Shank CG, Ostromb NE. The impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on petroleum hydrocarbons in surface waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography [Internet]. 2014;129 :292-300. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This study evaluated impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill on petroleum hydrocarbons in surface waters of the Louisiana continental shelf in northern Gulf of Mexico. Surface water (~top 5 cm) without visible oil was collected from three cruises in May 2010 during the oil spill, August 2010 after the well was capped, and May 2011 one year after the spill. Concentrations of total dissolved n-alkanes (C9–C35) in surface seawater were more than an order of magnitude higher in May 2010 than August 2010 and May 2011, indicating contamination by the DWH oil spill. This conclusion was further supported by more abundant smaller n-alkanes (C9–C13), together with pristane and phytane, in May than August 2010 samples. In contrast, even carbon-numbered dissolved n-alkanes (C14–C20) dominated the May 2011 samples, and this distribution pattern of dissolved n-alkanes is the first documentation for water samples in the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, this pattern was not observed in May 2011 suspended particles except for Sta. OSS. This decoupling between dissolved and particle compositions suggests that either these even carbon-numbered n-alkanes originated from bacteria rather than algae, or that the alkanes in the shelf were transported from elsewhere. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in suspended particles were 5 times higher on average in May 2010 (83–252 ng L−1) than May 2011 (7.2–83 ng L−1), also indicating contamination by the DWH oil spill. Application of a biomarker ratio of 17α(H),21β(H)-30-norhopane over 17α(H),21β(H)-hopane confirmed that suspended particles from at least two stations were contaminated by the DWH oil spill in May 2010. Taken together, these results showed that surface waters of the sampling area in May 2010 were contaminated by the oil spill, but also that rapid weathering and/or physical dilution quickly reduced hydrocarbon levels by August 2010.

Molaei M, Sheng J. Imaging bacterial 3D motion using digital in-line holographic microscopy and correlation-based de-noising algorithm. Opt Express [Internet]. 2014;22 (26) :32119-32137. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Better understanding of bacteria environment interactions in the context of biofilm formation requires accurate 3-dimentional measurements of bacteria motility. Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) has demonstrated its capability in resolving 3D distribution and mobility of particulates in a dense suspension. Due to their low scattering efficiency, bacteria are substantially difficult to be imaged by DHM. In this paper, we introduce a novel correlation-based de-noising algorithm to remove the background noise and enhance the quality of the hologram. Implemented in conjunction with DHM, we demonstrate that the method allows DHM to resolve 3-D E. coli bacteria locations of a dense suspension (>107 cells/ml) with submicron resolutions (<0.5 µm) over substantial depth and to obtain thousands of 3D cell trajectories.

Molaei M, Barry M, Stocker R, Sheng J. Failed Escape: Solid Surfaces Prevent Tumbling ofEscherichia coli. Physical review letters [Internet]. 2014;113 (6) :068103. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Understanding how bacteria move close to surfaces is crucial for a broad range of microbial processes including biofilm formation, bacterial dispersion, and pathogenic infections. We used digital holographic microscopy to capture a large number (>103) of three-dimensional Escherichia coli trajectories near and far from a surface. We found that within 20  μm from a surface tumbles are suppressed by 50% and reorientations are largely confined to surface-parallel directions, preventing escape of bacteria from the near-surface region. A hydrodynamic model indicates that the tumble suppression is likely due to a surface-induced reduction in the hydrodynamic force responsible for the flagellar unbundling that causes tumbling. These findings imply that tumbling does not provide an effective means to escape trapping near surfaces.

Liu Z, Liu J, Gardner WS, Shank CG, Ostromb NE. The impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on petroleum hydrocarbons in surface waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography [Internet]. 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This study evaluated impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill on petroleum hydrocarbons in surface waters of the Louisiana continental shelf in northern Gulf of Mexico. Surface water (~top 5 cm) without visible oil was collected from three cruises in May 2010 during the oil spill, August 2010 after the well was capped, and May 2011 one year after the spill. Concentrations of total dissolved n-alkanes (C9–C35) in surface seawater were more than an order of magnitude higher in May 2010 than August 2010 and May 2011, indicating contamination by the DWH oil spill. This conclusion was further supported by more abundant smaller n-alkanes (C9–C13), together with pristane and phytane, in May than August 2010 samples. In contrast, even carbon-numbered dissolved n-alkanes (C14–C20) dominated the May 2011 samples, and this distribution pattern of dissolved n-alkanes is the first documentation for water samples in the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, this pattern was not observed in May 2011 suspended particles except for Sta. OSS. This decoupling between dissolved and particle compositions suggests that either these even carbon-numbered n-alkanes originated from bacteria rather than algae, or that the alkanes in the shelf were transported from elsewhere. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in suspended particles were 5 times higher on average in May 2010 (83–252 ng L−1) than May 2011 (7.2–83 ng L−1), also indicating contamination by the DWH oil spill. Application of a biomarker ratio of 17α(H),21β(H)-30-norhopane over 17α(H),21β(H)-hopane confirmed that suspended particles from at least two stations were contaminated by the DWH oil spill in May 2010. Taken together, these results showed that surface waters of the sampling area in May 2010 were contaminated by the oil spill, but also that rapid weathering and/or physical dilution quickly reduced hydrocarbon levels by August 2010.

Almeda R, Connelly T, Buskey E. Dispersant Corexit 9500A and chemically dispersed crude oil decreases the growth rates of meroplanktonic barnacle nauplii (Amphibalanus improvisus) and tornaria larvae (Schizocardium sp.). Marine Environmental Research [Internet]. 2014;99 :212-217. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Our knowledge of the lethal and sublethal effects of dispersants and dispersed crude oil on meroplanktonic larvae is limited despite the importance of planktonic larval stages in the life cycle of benthic invertebrates. We determined the effects of Light Louisiana Sweet crude oil, dispersant Corexit 9500A, and dispersant-treated crude oil on the survival and growth rates of nauplii of the barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus and tornaria larvae of the enteropneust Schizocardium sp. Growth rates of barnacle nauplii and tornaria larvae were significantly reduced after exposure to chemically dispersed crude oil and dispersant Corexit 9500A at concentrations commonly found in the water column after dispersant application in crude oil spills. We also found that barnacle nauplii ingested dispersed crude oil, which may have important consequences for the biotransfer of petroleum hydrocarbons through coastal pelagic food webs after a crude oil spill. Therefore, application of chemical dispersants increases the impact of crude oil spills on meroplanktonic larvae, which may affect recruitment and population dynamics of marine benthic invertebrates.

Almeda R, Connelly TL, Buskey EJ. Novel insight into the role of heterotrophic dinoflagellates in the fate of crude oil in the sea. Scientific Reports [Internet]. 2014;4. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Although planktonic protozoans are likely to interact with dispersed crude oil after a spill, protozoan-mediated processes affecting crude oil pollution in the sea are still not well known. Here, we present the first evidence of ingestion and defecation of physically or chemically dispersed crude oil droplets (1–86 μm in diameter) by heterotrophic dinoflagellates, major components of marine planktonic food webs. At a crude oil concentration commonly found after an oil spill (1 μL L−1), the heterotrophic dinoflagellates Noctiluca scintillans and Gyrodinium spirale grew and ingested ~0.37 μg-oil μg-Cdino−1 d−1, which could represent ~17% to 100% of dispersed oil in surface waters when heterotrophic dinoflagellates are abundant or bloom. Egestion of faecal pellets containing crude oil by heterotrophic dinoflagellates could contribute to the sinking and flux of toxic petroleum hydrocarbons in coastal waters. Our study indicates that crude oil ingestion by heterotrophic dinoflagellates is a noteworthy route by which petroleum enters marine food webs and a previously overlooked biological process influencing the fate of crude oil in the sea after spills.

Z. W, Liu Z, Xu K, Mayer LM, Zhang Z, Kolker AS, Wu W. Concentrations and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface coastal sediments of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Geochemical transactions [Internet]. 2014;15 (1) :2. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background: Coastal sediments in the northern Gulf of Mexico have a high potential of being contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), due to extensive petroleum exploration and transportation activities. In this study we evaluated the spatial distribution and contamination sources of PAHs, as well as the bioavailable fraction in the bulk PAH pool, in surface marsh and shelf sediments (top 5 cm) of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Results: PAH concentrations in this region ranged from 100 to 856 ng g−1 , with the highest concentrations in Mississippi River mouth sediments followed by marsh sediments and then the lowest concentrations in shelf sediments. The PAH concentrations correlated positively with atomic C/N ratios of sedimentary organic matter (OM), suggesting that terrestrial OM preferentially sorbs PAHs relative to marine OM. PAHs with 2 rings were more abundant than those with 5–6 rings in continental shelf sediments, while the opposite was found in marsh sediments. This distribution pattern suggests different contamination sources between shelf and marsh sediments. Based on diagnostic ratios of PAH isomers and principal component analysis, shelf sediment PAHs were petrogenic and those from marsh sediments were pyrogenic. The proportions of bioavailable PAHs in total PAHs were low, ranging from 0.02% to 0.06%, with higher fractions found in marsh than shelf sediments. Conclusion: PAH distribution and composition differences between marsh and shelf sediments were influenced by grain size, contamination sources, and the types of organic matter associated with PAHs. Concentrations of PAHs in the study area were below effects low-range, suggesting a low risk to organisms and limited transfer of PAHs into food web. From the source analysis, PAHs in shelf sediments mainly originated from direct petroleum contamination, while those in marsh sediments were from combustion of fossil fuels.

Newell SE, Eveillard D, McCarthy M, Gardner WS, Liu Z, Ward BB. A shift in the archael nitrifier community in response to natural and anthropogenic disturbances in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Environmental Microbiology Reports [Internet]. 2014;6 (1) :106-112. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Gulf of Mexico is affected by hurricanes and suffers seasonal hypoxia. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted every trophic level in the coastal region. Despite their importance in bioremediation and biogeochemical cycles, it is difficult to predict the responses of microbial communities to physical and anthropogenic disturbances. Here, we quantify sediment ammonia-oxidizing archaeal (AOA) community diversity, resistance and resilience, and important geochemical factors after major hurricanes and the oil spill. Dominant AOA archetypes correlated with different geochemical factors, suggesting that different AOA are constrained by distinct parameters. Diversity was lowest after the hurricanes, showing weak resistance to physical disturbances. However, diversity was highest during the oil spill and coincided with a community shift, suggesting a new alternative stable state sustained for at least 1 year. The new AOA community was not significantly different from that at the spill site 1 year after the spill. This sustained shift in nitrifier community structure may be a result of oil exposure.

Ray B, Prosperetti A. On Skirted drops in an immiscible liquid. Chemical Engineering Science [Internet]. 2014;108 :213-222. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Large drops rising or sinking in an immiscible liquid can develop thin trailing structures commonly referred to as “skirts”. The paper describes a mathematical model for the thickness of these skirts accounting for the viscous boundary layer that develops along the surface of the parent drop and of the skirt itself. Unlike earlier theories, the skirt thickness is found to decrease with distance from the drop rim, which illuminates the mechanism which terminates the skirt at a finite length. A scaling of the skirt length is suggested by an analysis of published data, which also leads to a scaling for the volume of liquid in the skirt. The theoretical predictions are compared with the few experimental results for which sufficiently detailed information is available.

Gemmell BJ, Jiang H, Buskey EJ. A new approach to micro-scale particle image velocimetry (µPIV) for quantifying flows around free-swimming zooplankton. Journal of Plankton Research [Internet]. 2014;36 (5) :1396-1401. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Our current understanding of zooplankton interactions with surrounding fluid is limited, partially because traditional methods of particle image velocimetry (PIV) become impractical at scales less than a few millimeters and microscope-based systems restrict motions and can incur “wall effects”. We present a new approach to small-scale PIV imaging and our results demonstrate the ability to observe detailed kinematics simultaneously with fluid motion at small scales around free-swimming zooplankton. This can improve our understanding of animal–fluid interactions at small spatial scales and low Reynolds number.

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