The use of laser-induced water Raman backscatter for remote thin oil film detection and thickness measurement is reported here for the first time. A 337.1-nm nitrogen laser was used to excite the 3400-cm-1 OH stretch band of natural ocean water beneath the oil slick from an altitude of 150 m. The signal strength of the 381-nm water Raman backscatter was always observed to depress when the oil was encountered and then return to its original undepressed value after complete aircraft traversal of the floating slick. After removal of background and oil fluorescence contributions, the ratio of the depressed-to-undepressed airborne water Raman signal intensities, together with laboratory measured oil extinction coefficients, is used to calculate the oil film thickness.
F. E. Hoge and R. N. Swift, "Oil film thickness measurement using airborne laser-induced water Raman backscatter," Appl. Opt. 19, 3269-3281 (1980)