Malta MEDSLIK Oil Spill Model MEDESS4MS

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
 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
 Emergency Response Office
Ship Traffic [AIS Data over three months]
 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
 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
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
Measure 2D sea surface currents
and waves in the Malta Channel.
The area of interest is about 95km
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.
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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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