Surface Tension of Slick Patches near Kelp Beds


DURING a voyage off southern California near Santa Catalina Island some surface tension measurements were made on the open sea and over and around the slick areas associated with kelp beds. The usual methods of measuring surface tension involve laboratory equipment which is not feasible for use aboard a small sailing ship. For this reason, these tests were made with drops of a series of ten oil solutions, calibrated so that each solution would just spread against a different specific surface pressure, or lowering of surface tension. This calibrated series made it possible to measure, by inspection, surface tensions in the range 76–30 dynes/cm.

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STURDY, G., FISCHER, W. Surface Tension of Slick Patches near Kelp Beds. Nature 211, 951–952 (1966).

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