Ice on the sea changes the diffusion pathways in the event of spillages and discharges and makes it more difficult to decontaminate and remove e.g. oil that has been spilled or discharged.
“Through improvements in the forecast models, we can increase knowledge about the pathway which the discharge takes from a vessel, even when there is an ice covering. This facilitates the decontamination process,” explains Anders Höglund, researcher within Oceanography at SMHI.
Part of the tool for diffusion forecasts
The model is usable both when a discharge or spill has taken place and also in the planning of - and risk assessment concerning - vessel traffic in the Baltic Sea.
The improvements will form part of Seatrack Web, SMHI’s internet-based tool providing an animation of how currents, winds and ice conditions are subject to change hour by hour and how pollutants, for example oil, undergo change and drift.
Countries around the Baltic Sea work together
The development forms part of the STORMWINDS project. This concerns strategic and operational risk management in wintertime for maritime transport systems under present and future climate conditions. The project is led by Aalto University in Finland with project members from Finland, Estonia, Russia and Sweden. It is funded by the BONUS programme, with the Swedish Research Council Formas as Swedish co-financier. The project continues for a period of three years.
BONUS funds research and development in the Baltic Sea during the period 2010-2017. The programme is intended to bring together researchers from the marine, maritime and socioeconomic sectors in order to ensure a strong, scientific knowledge base in response to the many challenges that the Baltic Sea region now faces.