Oil spill risk assessments for coastal zone protection In the Arabian Gulf

Oil spill risk assessments for coastal zone protection In the Arabian Gulf.
Henno, F.and Goater, A. and Wood, M.
In: Arabian Coast 2016, 20-23 November 2016, Dubai, UAE. (2016)

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Abstract:Introduction. Oil spills can be disastrous in terms of their ecological, social and economic effects on the coastal zone. In the Arabian Gulf, oil has the potential for accidental release into the marine environment across a range of operations, including coastal developments (ports, terminals, etc.), as well as offshore activities (oil and gas exploration, shipping, etc.). Accurate predictions of the fate and behaviour of spilled oil are therefore important and usually require the use of computational models. Simulations rely on a range of model predictions – including detailed hydrodynamic and meteorological fields – as well as adequate representation of the properties and physics of the spilled oil. Oil spill model assessment procedures. The authors have recently carried out research to establish best practice procedures for the assessment of the fate of spilled oil and its impact in coastal and offshore regions (Henno et al., 2015). An integrated framework for oil spill assessment was developed, using both established modelling tools and enhanced Lagrangian models. The study brought together expertise in coastal processes, metocean studies, the maritime industry and marine ecology. The procedure was demonstrated and validated using data for a real spill incident in coastal waters. Coastal zone protection in the Arabian Gulf. The Arabian Gulf is an area of rapid industrial development. Over the last decade in particular, there have been significant expansions in ports, refineries and other coastal facilities across the region. As a relatively enclosed basin, water exchange occurs over long periods, with estimated residence times of 2-5 years (Elshorbagy et al, 2006). This means that pollutants and spills in coastal waters can have both local and regional effects, potentially over long time-scales. Therefore it is important that planning studies and pollution risk assessments for each new coastal development do not occur in isolation. Regional level pollution and oil spill assessments are one way to inform Coastal Zone Management (CZM) plans, protecting the environment from the potential harmful effects of spills. Modelling to support management plans. To support CZM and planning for new coastal developments, the authors applied their validated spill assessment procedure to sites in the Arabian Gulf. The study used a combination of calibrated hydrodynamic models, validated oil spill models, and state-of-the-art parallel computing capabilities. Model simulations demonstrate the potential fate of spills from a range of industrial sites, and their transport over the wider Gulf by tidal- and wind-driven currents. These can be readily refined and extended to inform Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), risk assessments and Coastal Zone Management (CZM) plans for new developments. The outputs include the likelihood of shoreline or sensitive receiver impact, and minimum transport times for oil to reach designated sites. Sensitive coastal areas can then be protected from potential spills through suitable management and spill response plans.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects:Coasts > General
ID Code:1381
Deposited On:26 Jan 2017 06:40
Last Modified:25 May 2017 07:48

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