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Projects - SPRES - Oil spill prevention and response at local scales
The number of accidental oil spills affecting the Atlantic coast of Europe in the last decades, has led to a growing concern regarding oil spill preparedness and response, and has motivated the development and implementation of different tools to be used in these emergency situations.
Close to shore, most damage occurs in sheltered bays and inlets, where oil becomes concentrated. In the last years different nationals and internationals administrations have promoted environmental directives aimed to the protection of these aquatic ecosystems (e.g. Water Framework Directive (2000/60/CE); Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)).
To fulfill the aforementioned legislation and to prevent, prepare for, and respond to oil spills, two different approaches exist. On one hand, planning tools to promote an integrated and sustainable oil spill response capability in the regions are needed. On the other hand, operational oceanography systems that provide real-time forecast of oceanographic variables and oil spill trajectories are becoming a key element in oil spill response. Both approaches are usually based on monitoring and numerical (hydrodynamic and transport) models. In this sense, although noticeable advances have been done in modelling at a regional scale (O(km)), there is a lack of systems to be applied at local scales such as estuarine environments or ports (O(m)). More research is needed on solving small scale processes that affect the oil spill tr ansport and fate and on methodologies and techniques for developing downscaling methods to obtain local-scale atmospheric and oceanographic conditions from variables that are provided by regional-scale models.
The main aims of this project are, therefore, to: (i) develop a set of high resolution operational oceanographic systems in s everal estuaries or ports located in the Atlantic Area, and (ii) establish local oil spill response plans for these local areas based on risk as assessment.

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