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 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 Ship Traffic [AIS Data over three months] CIRCULATION IN THE MALTA CHANNEL 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. CONTRIBUTION OF THE PO-UNIT 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 www.capemalta.net Forecasting sea currents ROSARIO Malta Shelf forecasting system using POM eddy-resolving numerical model Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta Forecasting sea currents Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta SHYFEM 3D Coastal Model Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta SHYFEM 3D Coastal Model Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta 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. Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta Surface currents by HF radars Aldo Drago: PO-Unit, University of Malta 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 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. 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 Malta MEDSLIK Oil Spill Model – Distant spills can alo be a menace to the Maltese Islands Malta MEDSLIK Oil Spill Model – Models can be used as a tool to plan response most effectively and minimize impact on the shore Malta MEDSLIK Oil Spill Model Production of automatic bulletin. 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. 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. 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.