WIT Press

Risk Of Oil Spill Pollution Off The Portuguese Coast


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WIT Press


C. Guedes Soares & P. Sebastião


The risk of oil pollution of the Portuguese Coast can be assessed from the risk of oil spills resulting from ship collision in the region and from the uncertainties of the trajectory of that oil given the uncertainties of the weather parameters. The probability distribution of oil spills can be based on the historical data of the accidents that occurred in the area or on a maritime traffic simulation model that is able to predict the risk of accident from a simulated traffic pattern. The uncertainty of the weather parameters can be reflected on a spread of possible trajectories and on the area in the coast where they will reach. 1 Introduction The coast of Portugal is situated in the route of a great part of the crude oil extracted in the Middle East that is transported to Europe, mainly Northern Europe. There is therefore an intense maritime traffic of tankers in the region, but also of other ships. These facts together with the dominant maritime climate, characterised by wind blowing from N/NW, in the western coast, and S/SW in the southern coast, and surface currents from N/S approaching the coast in the winter, makes it a zone of a high risk of ship collision and grounding leading to oil spills.