Environmentally safe areas and routes in the Baltic proper using Eulerian tracers

A Höglund, H E M Meier
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2012, 64 (7): 1375-85
In recent years, the shipping of environmentally hazardous cargo has increased considerably in the Baltic proper. In this study, a large number of hypothetical oil spills with an idealized, passive tracer are simulated. From the tracer distributions, statistical measures are calculated to optimize the quantity of tracer from a spill that would stay at sea as long as possible. Increased time may permit action to be taken against the spill before the oil reaches environmentally vulnerable coastal zones. The statistical measures are used to calculate maritime routes with maximum probability that an oil spill will stay at sea as long as possible. Under these assumptions, ships should follow routes that are located south of Bornholm instead of the northern routes in use currently. Our results suggest that the location of the optimal maritime routes depends on the season, although interannual variability is too large to identify statistically significant changes.

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