What Does Splash Zone Mean?
The splash zone of a marine structure is defined as the section of the structure that is periodically in and out of water due to the action of waves or tides. The height of this zone is the vertical distance between the splash zone's upper limit (due to high tide) and lower limit (due to low tide). The alternating wetting and drying from waves and daily tide changes can lead to accelerated corrosion on exposed metal surfaces.
Corrosionpedia Explains Splash Zone
The range of a structure's splash zone varies depending on the rise and fall of sea levels due to daily tide cycles in a specific geographical area. Constant wave action in the splash zone can result in a higher corrosion rate and erosion of metal members. This phenomenon is particularly a concern for steel members (e.g., jacket legs) on oil and gas platforms.
While metal members that are constantly submerged underwater can be protected using cathodic protection (CP) techniques, exposed steel within the splash zone must be protected with specially formulated paints and zinc-based coatings. Additionally, members in this zone must also be adequately maintained by reapplying these coatings whenever necessary.