Tallinn University of Technology launched automated oil compound monitoring on Tallinn-Stockholm fairway
Tallinn University of Technology launched a system for real-time in situ monitoring of oil compounds on fairway in open Baltic Sea.
M/S Baltic Queen (Tallink Group Ltd) operating on Tallinn-Stockholm route carries on board a FerryBox system with oil detection capability.
Data are collected after every 100-150 metres, in flow through regime, during the vessels journey, in the surface layer of the sea. The measurement system FerryBox helps to detect oil spills operationally and to gather data for statistical analysis, to better understand the total impact of oil spills on the marine environment and especially on marine life.
On-line data originating from measurement system can be seen through web-based user interface - http://on-line.msi.ttu.ee/GRACEferry/
Senior research scientist Tarmo Kõuts of Marine Systems Institute at Tallinn University of Technology confirms that high resolution in situ oil compound monitoring is essential to hindcast more precisely total amount of oil discharged into seawater. With remote sensing, some oil spills remain unnoticed, especially the cases with small discharges, for example bilge water releases. FerryBox measurements are of particular importance, since these could show the effect of small oil spills. "With our system we monitor the oil content in surface layer using UV (ultraviolet) fluorescence method in terms of PAH-s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) concentrations. In addition, other parameters of the surface layer of the sea are measured – temperature, salinity, turbidity and CO2 concentrations," says senior researcher Kõuts.
Ship traffic in the Baltic Sea is very intense; hence, a higher probability of oil spills, based on the statistics, particularly on major shipping routes or nearby. Ferries sail regularly along major shipping routes, therefore being suitable platforms for monitoring of oil spills where those most likely to occur. Automatic oil spill monitoring on board „ships of opportunity“ is good complement to existing monitoring programs, as well as remote sensing based oil spill detection systems," said Kõuts.
The FerryBox system with oil detection functionality is being developed by the Marine Systems Institute at TTÜ within EU Horizon2020 funded project GRACE, coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. The GRACE project – Integrated oil spill response actions and their environmental effects started in March 2016 and focuses on developing, comparing and evaluating the effectiveness and environmental effects of different oil spill response methods in arctic icy conditions. Project develops real-time oil spill observation methods, effects of oil spills and response methods on marine ecosystem, as well developing strategic decision support tool for choosing optimal oil response methods.
Tarmo Kõuts, Marine Systems Institute at Tallinn University of Technology
tel. +372 51 09 744, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirsten Jørgensen, GRACE project coordinator, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
tel. +358 295251245, kirsten dot jorgensen at ymparisto dot fi