Assessing oil spill sensitivity in unsheltered coastal environments | Central Portal

    You are here

Assessing oil spill sensitivity in unsheltered coastal environments

15 Oct 2015

This project was carried out by two authors. First author represents  Klaipeda University, a national and Baltic Region leader in the field of marine sciences.  The second represents the Environmental Management Centre (EMC), an interdisciplinary research centre of Mykolas Romeris University.  EMC’s activities focus on environmental research, the development of novel projects, co-operation with local authorities and private institutions and environmental education.

Both authors were attempting to characterize the physical and biological sensitivity of unsheltered coastal environments to oil spills. The study area comprised over 237 km of Lithuanian and Russian coastline. The authors therefore required as much information as possible on the marine environment, in order to determine the potential for natural “clean-up” processes and the overall vulnerability analysis, including data on seabed habitats and their associated substrate type and exposure to oceanographic processes, such as wave and tidal influences.  As the study area was transboundary across two countries, it was important to find data in a format that could be easily interpreted and applied to multiple study areas.

EMODnet Seabed Habitats' EUSeaMap provided a broad-scale habitat map of the Baltic Sea, including data on wave exposure, habitat type and substrate type. This information fed into the calculations determining the sensitivity index of each coastal segment to identify areas of particularly high sensitivity and those which may be more resistant to the impacts of oil spills. The users commented on the benefits of having freely available resources, which were harmonised and of high resolution. Due to the data being classified according to the EUNIS system the information was able to be used for transboundary assessments.  The availability of this product therefore saved the users on time, financial and resource costs.

Using pre-existing oil spill simulation the authors were able to map a sensitivity index across the Russian – Lithuanian coastline, highlighting the areas at greatest risk. The study also demonstrated the importance of harmonised datasets for transboundary oil spill impact assessments. This indicates the potential use of EMODnet in future studies of a similar nature, such as looking into the impacts of other pollutants or in other areas within European waters where such data is available.

 

Case Type:

LATEST NEWS

EVENTS

European Maritime Day Conference

European Maritime Day this year is going virtual from Den Helder, The Netherlands on 20 and 21 May 2021. European Maritime Day is a 2-day conference. High-level plenary sessions including inspirational speakers, leadership exchanges and stakeholders’ workshops attract experts and stakeholders from across Europe and beyond. EMODnet Secretariat will host a stakeholder workshop on “Ocean Observation and Marine Data for the Blue Economy”.

20 May 2021 to 21 May 2021

EMODnet Open Conference and Jamboree - Pre-registration now open for this online event!

The second EMODnet Open Conference and Jamboree will take place from 14 until 18 June 2021 fully online. Pre-register now!

14 Jun 2021 to 18 Jun 2021
Online event

Online ocean literacy workshop on the European Atlas of the Seas

Join us for the ocean literacy workshop on the European Atlas of the Seas organised by the EMODnet Secretariat in the framework of the EMODnet Open Conference to learn about the many different aspects of the Atlas!
16 Jun 2021
Online