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Tackling Oil Spill Emergencies

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Presentation on theme: "Tackling Oil Spill Emergencies"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tackling Oil Spill Emergencies
in the Malta Channel Prof. Aldo Drago Adam Gauci Physical Oceanography Unit Faculty of Science University of Malta BioDiValue Seminar 22nd September 2014

2 Outline Relevance of oil spill modelling close to the Maltese islands
Real-time and forecasted sea conditions by the PO-Unit CALYPSO Project ROSARIO Marine Forecast Oil spill modelling in the Med MEDESS-4MS The MALTA MEDSLIK Oil Spill Emergency Response Office

3 Ship Traffic [AIS Data over three months]
as several other areas of the Mediterranean basin, this region is under pressure due to an intense traffic of commercial vessels and significant migration fluxes. The maritime transport of oil crossing this region accounts in fact for 25% of the global maritime traffic and for nearly 7% of the world oil accidents over the last 25 years. In combination with localized oil extraction plants existing in the shelf zones this situation presents a serious threat to both the open-sea and coastal-zone habitats, with consequent impacts on local economic activities as tourism and fisheries, impacts on ecosystems and losses in revenue. In the case of both accidental/deliberate oil spills or drifting-vessel emergency, an operative response chain must include both the detection and the trajectory prediction steps, that take advantage of the most appropriate methodologies and data availability such as: updated meteorological information, near-surface current measurements, and hydrodynamic models with oil spill weathering processes modules.

Data from MetOcean iSVP drifters and a float deployed in the Malta Channel show complex circulation patterns. Sea surface currents can make floating objects move in repeated cycles and remain in the Channel for long periods. An oil spill could reach Malta from distance and impact more than once.

Runs operational metocean observation and forecasting systems providing a service to end users. Activities form part of pan-European joint initiatives Services are used for several applications including oil spill response, S&R, early warning systems, etc. The Physical Oceanography Unit is established under the Faculty of Science of the University of Malta. It undertakes oceanographic research, in a holistic perspective, including operational observations and forecasts, specialized data management and analysis with the participation in international cooperative ventures. The overarching research themes of the PO-Unit cover coastal meteorology, hydrography and physical oceanography with a main emphasis on the experimental study of the hydrodynamics of the sea in the vicinity of the Maltese Islands. The Unit has mainly endeavored to promote activities in operational oceanography by the installation and maintenance of permanent sea monitoring systems, and the provision of meteomarine forecasts. Observations include atmospheric parameters, sea level, currents and waves in both delayed and operational mode; forecasts for the same parameters are issued daily for the Central Mediterranean area and in the vicinity of the Maltese Islands on the services website Speak here about chain of operations to provide a service to Transport Malta Models for atmospheric forcing fields Numerical models tp forecast the hydrodynamical fields Oil spill model to forecast fate of spill and plan against impact on shore

6 Forecasting sea currents
ROSARIO Malta Shelf forecasting system using POM eddy-resolving numerical model Provides forecasts of sea currents, temperature and salinity over a 3.5 day horizon at two resolutions (1/64 and 1/96 deg) Mention here our efforts to go coastal through ROSARIO-SHYFEM Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta

7 Forecasting sea currents
Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta

8 SHYFEM 3D Coastal Model Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta
Horizontal resolution up to 50m; vertical resolution up to 0.5m Forced circulation in the coastal embayments Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta

9 SHYFEM 3D Coastal Model Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta
Horizontal resolution up to 50m; vertical resolution up to 0.5m Intensification of currents in the Comino Channels Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta

10 CALYPSO project HF Radar Monitoring System and Response against Marine Oil Spills in the Malta Channel Two HF-Radars and combining station on the Maltese Islands. One HF-Radar on the Southern Coast of Sicily linked to the central station. Measure 2D sea surface currents and waves in the Malta Channel. The area of interest is about 95km wide. 13MHz CODAR system. HF radar is permitting to obtain direct observations of sea surface currents Can be used directly to study circulation and provide nowcasts Can also be used for data assimilation and improving numerical models to better replicate the reality Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta

11 Surface currents by HF radars
HF radar maps every hour; anticyclonic circulation; ► HF radar data are providing the first spatial long term information on sea surface currents in the region confirming the presence of the energetic Atlantic Ionian Stream (AIS), with average current magnitudes reaching cm/s, peaking to more than 70 cm/s, and directed towards SSE as it exits into the Ionian. ► In Summer, the AIS flow shifts closer to the island and the SE flow is particularly intense, tending to swerve against the SE tip of Malta; in Winter the AIS vein is displaced away from the coast, an anticyclonic eddy formation comes into action and tends to reverse the coastal mean flow near Malta to a NW direction. Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta

12 CALYPSO - Site Selection (Ta’ Barkat)
In Malta, the radar is installed at Ta’ Barkat, limits of Xghajra. Permission was obtained to place the equipment within the premises of the Water Services Corporation wastewater treatment plant. Electronics shed Antenna

13 CALYPSO - Site Selection (Ta’ Sopu)
A site recognition field trip was done along the whole northern coast of Gozo. The optimal place for the antenna was determined to be about 80m west from Sopu Tower at Ta’ Sopu, limits of Nadur. The electronics rack is placed within the Armed Forces of Malta barracks (PP4) about 330m away from the mast.

14 Malta MEDSLIK Oil Spill Model
A 3D oil spill model Predict fate and transportation of an oil spill in sub regions of the Mediterranean Sea (where will the oil slick move to, when will it get there, what will be its state when it arrives) Compute and plot simple trajectories of floating objects Ultimate goal is to provide predictions on the evolution of an oil spill through state-of-the-art models Tackle different types of oil….. Take into account atmospheric forcing, sea currents and effect of sea waves….involve dispersion, evaporation and emulsification

15 Malta MEDSLIK Oil Spill Model
Distant spills can alo be a menace to the Maltese Islands 15

16 Malta MEDSLIK Oil Spill Model
Models can be used as a tool to plan response most effectively and minimize impact on the shore 16

17 Malta MEDSLIK Oil Spill Model
Production of automatic bulletin. Improving the service Giving the info requested by users Online and hard copy bulletin 17

18 MEDESS4MS An integrated real time multi-model oil spill prediction system will be implemented. An interconnected network of data repositories that will archive and provide in an operational way the access to all available environmental data. A unique access web portal with different service scenarios, multi-model data access and interactive capabilities will be implemented. Improving our service through joint research projects MEDESS4MS is opening the way to provide the user with more than one model outcome Through a dedicate Web User Interface

19 MEDESS4MS The MEDESS4MS Decision Support System will be made accessible through an interactive user interface. Different multi-model service scenarios (SS) will be made available to suit the requirements of EMSA-CSN, REMPEC and the generic operational response agencies. The real-time SS will allow for automatic simulations based on spills detected from satellite images. The DSS will also be able to run in delayed mode to perform offline simulations of past spills as well as in emergency situations to provide information to the response team as soon as possible. During the project, a number of Serious Games will be carried out to test the oil spill model performances and the accuracy of the meteo-oceanographic data.

20 MEDESS4MS The MEDESS-4MS service is intended to aid the prevention of maritime risks, improve safety at sea and the ecosystem protection in the Mediterranean area. It will provide support to the response agencies for improving their contingency plans and for identifying ship-source pollution. The service is specifically designed to serve the needs of the Member and non-Member States response agencies. 21 partners from across the Mediterranean.

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