OceanObs'09 - Additional Contributions

Session: Hazards, Impacts and Management (03C)

Assessment of anthropogenic influence on quality of marine environment for the borders seas of Russia
Anikiev, V.
Russian Ecological Independent Expertise, RUSSIAN FEDERATION

In order to assess marine environment ecological safety level in the boundary seas of Russia, following characteristics for nature - community system are required: 1. significance of ecological risk for people and biota; 2. scales of ecological damage; 3. expenses of preventive and compensatory measures to achieve permissible ecological risk level. We understand significance of ecological risk (SER) as biological systems mortality (biota and people population). We used an expression permitting to calculate probability of single mortality for population components for SER variability assessment for marine ecosystems in the Okhotsk Sea. It was found that considerable part of aquatorium of the Okhotsk Sea was framed by isoline corresponding to SER, equal to n*10-3 case/year, which exceeds permissible ecological level for population of hydrobionts. Results forecasting negative consequences of oil exploitation for ecosystem of the Okhotsk Sea received experimental confirmation after 10 years, when volumes of fish catch decreased in 2 times. Techno-economical calculations demonstrated that in conditions of the Sakhalin Island mean additional ecological expenses formed of 11% from direct financing on building and exploitation of oil complex. It is necessary for sustainable development of the Sakhalin Island community that such surplus must exceed damage from different phases of projects realization. However calculations demonstrated that significance of damage in 2 times exceeds expected in 2010 year values. Comparison of afore mentioned mean significance for scales of true inner saving (indicator of accumulation speed minus expenses of exhaustion of natural resources and pollution of environment) with GDP for Russia in 2000 year was equal 0,67. Problem for dangerous assimilation from sinking chemical weapon in the Baltic Sea has not solved today due to 2 reasons: 1. modern data on battle poisons in marine environment are absent, but we have indirect indication of its presence; 2. geopolitical factors predominate over scientific knowledge in connection with building underwater tube for gas transportation. We have examined different mechanisms of influence on premature mortality to forecast possible negative consequences of battle poison for human organism. Individual cancerogenic risk of joint influence of all factors after passing cyclone is equal to 1,1*10-2 men/men*year, that is in 104 times more than permissible risk for people population according to EU rules. However our estimations demonstrated that ecological risk from yperite and lewisite discharge was equal to value made up by the Baltic Sea “background” ingredients, like pesticides and heavy metals for example. It is necessary to assure financing of battle poison pollution problem in two times more than EU countries spend on environment protection. Pollution of sulphur and heavy metals of the Barents Sea is determined by mine industrial complexes on the Kolski peninsula increasing concentrations of heavy metals by 2-5 times. Calculation of SER has been made for human population using the information that presence of heavy metals in marine environment is a reason of increase of SER in 10-100 times more than from long-term radioactive elements In 1986 superposition of two accidental discharges of artificial radionuclids to the atmosphere from Chernobyl reactor and from nuclear submarine in Chagma Bay caused rise of individual ecological risk for people in Primorski Krai more than in 60 times in comparison with permissible level influenced by seafood consumption. Hence, we observed that an internal irradiation of local residents was less than two-multiple increase of an external irradiation one in two times.

Adaptation of Coastal Communities in the Philippines to Climate Change
Campos, Maria Rebecca
University of the Philippines Open University, PHILIPPINES

More than half a million small fishers in the Philippines have been availing of loans from Quedancor, the credit arm of the Department of Agriculture. The financing scheme has been quite successful with repayment rate at 95%. However, climate change has brought about more frequent typhoons as well as pests and diseases which have affected the productivity of fisheries, thus, hindering fishers from paying and renewing their loans. Failure to access credit could disable them to continue venturing on fishing activities and could eventually jeopardize the welfare of their entire household. The inability of creditors to pay their loans and meet their obligations also impair, to a large extent, the financial operation and viability of the lending institutions. This study analyzes the adaptation practices of these fishers. It recommends mitigation mechanisms to minimize the impact of climate change. Moreover, it suggests a bridge financing scheme that can be an effective and efficient instrument to enable fishers to carry on their livelihood activities and support their families’ basic needs and slowly recover from their losses.

Combination of chemical measurements and remote sensing in coastal water monitoring. The case of Eastern Mediterranean
Dassenakis , Manos1; Paraskevopoulou, Viki1; Katsiambani, katerina2; Shevah, Yehuda3
1Lab. of Environmental Chemistry, GREECE;
2Lab. of Remote Sensing, GREECE;

Coastal zones are important and sensitive ecological systems. They are also significant from an economic point of view as they are used for tourism, fishing, aquaculture and recreation. Unfortunately many times their significance is ignored and they are over exploited or subjected to intense environmental pressures. Large loads of land-based pollutants from industrial, urban and agricultural activities are disposed to coastal areas. Physical, chemical, biological or thermal pollution can cause adverse effects to the marine environment, ecological damages and can even pose dangers for public health.

Remote Sensing techniques have been utilised with various types of sensors and applications in environmental purposes. Their main advantage is the large-scale monitoring of entire basins, which allows taking into account the highly dynamical nature of marine processes. However, only few chemical pollutants are detectable in the marine environment by Remote Sensing techniques and only in high concentrations (usually a short time after their disposal, e.g. in the case of oil spills).

Remote sensing techniques have been used mainly for the measurement of physicochemical parameters that have a direct effect on the optical properties of the examined water body. Therefore phytoplankton pigments, particularly chlorophyll-a, and suspended particulate matter have been measured and thus eutrophication phenomena and river plumes have been monitored from above. Surface seawater temperature is also another parameter widely measured with such techniques over large scale marine areas. In the case of marine pollution remote sensing has only been appropriate and applicable for oil spills. Optical and multispectral sensors using advanced algorithms optimise target reflectance and support quantitative measurements of the above mentioned parameters with relatively coarse resolution and wide fields of view. Hyperspectral data (collected in many and narrow ranges of the visible and infrared wavelengths) allow for greater precision in characterizing target spectral signatures.

However these applications have not been able to lessen the efforts undertaken by marine scientists during in situ monitoring campaigns, because the measured parameters are only a small fraction of those that have to be studied in the marine environment and because the results of Remote Sensing techniques are less accurate than the results of in situ and laboratory measurements. In addition Remote Sensing techniques are limited to surface waters and have possible atmospheric interference and poor spatial resolution for certain applications.

Our focus area, for this review, the eastern Mediterranean is oligotrophic with occurring eutrophication phenomena, there is increased transportation of oil products and accident occurrence, there are river discharges and coastal hot spot areas and there is also the influence from the Black Sea outlet through the Dardanelles and from the Western Mediterranean through the Straits of Sicily. This results in a west to east gradient of decreasing surface chlorophyll-a, that is readily seen from space, with the Eastern Mediterranean Levantine waters exhibiting highly oligotrophic conditions.

The coastal marine environment of the East Mediterranean is affected by economic development, population increase and changing in land use patterns. The existing Remote Sensing results in the area are rather limited. Most remote sensing work has concentrated on pollution from point sources as it is much less problematic and it often contrasts sharply with the surrounding water.

A marine pollution monitoring project that would combine remote sensing techniques with chemical analytical measurements can be an effective tool for the environmental protection and sustainable management in this ecologically sensitive area.


Remote sensing and coastal zone management in the EU's less-developed areas: The role of the EFMS

Dassenakis, Manos; Danovaro, Roberto; Ducrotoy, Jean-Paul; Hamann, Ilse

Coastal zones are vulnerable systems of great environmental and ecological importance. In addition, they play a significant role in the economic development of a region, as they are exploited through tourism, fishing, aquaculture and recreation. The necessity for sustainable development of such areas is fully acknowledged by the European Union and described in environmental strategies; a lot of EU directives now incorporate the necessary legal commitments of member states in relation to the protection of the coastal zone.

Nevertheless, many coastal areas, especially in the EU's less-developed areas are usually inadequately managed and subjected to various anthropogenic pressures through agricultural, urban and industrial activities. Huge amounts of land-based pollutants are disposed in and around coastal areas, both directly and indirectly affecting the marine environment and leading to ecosystem disruption and public health concerns. These problems are further enhanced in many cases by a communication gap between environmental scientists, decision-makers and local communities, causing a considerable impediment in any environmental management.

In the past few years, there has been an increase in research related to ocean observing systems, resulting in considerable advances in Operational Oceanography. There has also been an increase in all disciplines of coastal marine research. The establishment and use of oceanographic databases of various kinds is an important asset in the amalgamation of remote sensing and “on the spot” marine research, leading to the development of effective management schemes.

However, the use and support of these scientific tools, techniques and processes is insufficient in many EU coastal regions. If the incentive for local communities and the training of new scientists is provided, this can effectively contribute to the sustainable management of the coast.

In the effort to promote this course of action, the role of scientific organisations is absolutely essential. The EFMS (European Federation of Marine Science and Technology Societies) is already engaged in an attempt towards this objective, aiming to make the most of new scientists and effectively encourage all interested parties towards sustainable coastal zone management. The EFMS consists of 14 non-governmental associations from 10 different countries that specialize in research and education pertaining to the marine environment. Its objectives are to contribute to the advancement of and disseminate information regarding research and education in marine science and technology in Europe. Members of the federation have carried out various European programmes and participated in numerous conferences, workshops and EU policy consultations related to the coastal zone. It is also currently involved in the identification of the State of Marine Research in Europe through a questionnaire on its website (www.efmsts.org). The existing priorities of the EFMS lie with the Mediterranean and especially the Eastern Mediterranean, as it is one of the EU's less-developed areas yet environmentally significant.

Sediment transport on the Palos Verdes shelf, California
Ferre, Benedicte1; Sherwood, Christopher R.2
1University of Tromsψ, NORWAY;
2U. S. Geological Survey, UNITED STATES

Sediment transport and the potential for erosion or deposition have been investigated on the southern California shelf using a one-dimensional (vertical) model of hydrodynamics and suspended-sediment transport, to help assess the fate of an effluent-affected deposit contaminated with DDT and PCBs. Bottom boundary layer measurements at one site were used to calibrate a model of local, steady-state flow and suspended-sediment transport (Wiberg et al., 1994, Continental Shelf Research 14:1191-1219). The model was run with waves estimated from a nearby buoy and currents from up to six years of measurements made on the Palos Verdes (PV) and San Pedro (SP) shelves by the Los Angeles County Sanitation District. Sediment characteristics were based on gentle wet-sieve analysis and erodibility on erosion-chamber measurements. Modeled flow and sediment transport were mostly alongshelf toward the northwest on the PV shelf with a small off-shelf component. Bottom shear stresses at 65 m were greatest (95th percentile was 0.09 Pa) at the northwest and southeast ends of the PV shelf and smallest (0.07 Pa) in the middle of the shelf near the Whites Point sewage outfalls where the effluent-affected deposit is thickest. Transport rates increased from 1.7 T m-1 yr-1 at the southeast end of the PV shelf to 15.9 T m-1 yr-1 at the northwest end because of increases in sediment erodibility and stronger mean flow. Decreases in particle emissions from the Whites Point outfalls and stabilization of the Portuguese Bend landslide, which contributes sediment to the nearby nearshore region, have reduced the supply of sediments to the effluent-affected deposit. The alongshore gradients in modeled transport rates suggest that, in the absence of a supply of sediment from these sources, the effluent-affected deposit would slowly erode at rates ranging from 0.2 to 1.3 mm yr-1. Profiles of DDT taken every two years indicate that the regions northwest of the outfalls have been depositional for the last decade, which suggests that the supply of sediment from the outfalls and the PV coast has more than offset modeled gradients in alongshelf transport. However, model results indicate that erosion is most likely to occur on the southwest margin of the effluent-affected deposit as input from these sediment sources decreases.

Coupling 3-D models of ocean physics and biogeochemistry to fish population dynamics for operational monitoring of marine living resources
Gaspar , Philippe; Lehodey, P.; Royer, F.; Senina, I.

Marine ecosystems presently suffer from the combined effects of climate change and direct anthropogenic pressure (fisheries, pollution). Understanding, modelling, and ultimately predicting how populations of marine animals respond to these perturbations is crucial for the development of sound management strategies for marine ecosystems.

If models of ocean physics and biogeochemistry are now well developed and widely used, this is still far for being the case with models of the mid- and upper-trophic levels of marine ecosystems. In this poster we will present the bases for such models and their coupling with 3-D ocean models. We will show some important achievements but also highlight limitations. Examples of the interest of such models for the management of heavily-fished tuna populations will be presented.

We will finally demonstrate that progress in this field is presently seriously slowed down by the lack of important data. This calls for the development of a large-scale observation system for mid-trophic levels, improved real time monitoring of fishing fleets and further development of electronic tagging of individuals to support habitat studies and behaviour modelling.

Importance of Ocean Observations for Initializing Ocean Models for Tropical Cyclone Forecasts
Halliwell, George R1; Shay, Lynn K2; Brewster, Jodi2
2MPO/RSMAS, University of Miami, UNITED STATES

Combined model-observational studies are critically important for evaluating and improving ocean model performance in coupled tropical cyclone forecast models, particularly in regards to the magnitude and pattern of SST cooling and the resulting impact on intensity forecasts. In oceanic regions with energetic mesoscale eddies or boundary currents, the correct initialization of these oceanic features is the most important factor for producing accurate SST forecasts. In energetic regions such as the Gulf of Mexico, the impact on the magnitude of SST cooling resulting from the incorrect initialization of ocean features is several times larger than the impact of changing vertical mixing and air-sea flux parameterizations in the ocean model. Ocean fields for initialization obtained from data-assimilative ocean hindcasts produced as part of the Global Ocean Data Assimilative Experiment (GODAE) have been quantitatively evaluated. Due primarily to the assimilation of satellite altimetry, these products usually provide realistic initialization of the horizontal structure of important ocean features. However, relatively large errors and biases are frequently observed prior to individual storms in vertical profiles of temperature, salinity, and density, which then lead to incorrect forecasts of SST cooling. The impact of this problem on ocean model performance and SST cooling is presented for several storms including Isidore/Lili (2002) and Katrina/Rita (2005) by comparing ocean model simulations to high-quality ocean observations taken before and after the storms. Additional targeted and operational observations of upper-ocean profiles are required to reduce these initial errors and biases, particularly in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico where ARGO floats are usually not present. Future plans to use Observing System Simulation Experiments to design these observational strategies will be presented.

Marine invasive species and their potential impacts
HUSAIN, MUNA1; Husain, Muna2
1KFAS KUwait Foundation for the advancement of Science, KUWAIT;

The introduction of invasive marine species into new environments by ships’ ballast water, ships’ hulls and other means has been identified as one of the four greatest threats to the biodiversity of the world’s oceans. The other three are land-based sources of marine pollution, over-exploitation of living marine resources and physical alteration/destruction of marine habitat. In this study, an attempt was made to analyze the present status of problems of invasive marine species in Kuwait waters and to relate this to global context. Most countries are being affected by the adverse impact of the invasive marine species. Developed countries are most affected and are responding to this crisis by introducing national legislations, adopting new technologies and researching into the subject. International organizations are responsibly playing their part by planning to impose effective legislation to prevent international spread of invasive marine species. Numerous research projects are underway to identify the alien species in particular areas, to determine their potential impacts, and to discover effective ballast water treatment technologies. Studies reveal that so far no detailed research has been done in Kuwait to ascertain or understand the status of alien species in its waters. Officially only, nine invasive species were found according to the Global Invasive species Database two are aquatic species Oreochromis aureus (fish) and Acanthophora spicifera (algae). There is currently, no regulation on the discharge of ballast water or to prevent the introduction of alien species into Kuwaiti waters. There is thus a need to establish some regulations to prevent the introduction of alien marine species. However, local baseline information on the native marine species is inadequate and extensive research work is required. To further evaluate the impacts of alien marine species, more appropriate research is necessary

Developing the Hawaii and Pacific Islands Ocean Observing Systems
Ostrander, Chris E.1; Taylor, Brian2; Au, Whitlow3; Brooks, Benjamin2; De Carlo, Eric Heinen2; Flament, Pierre2; Fletcher, Chip2; Grabowski, Marcie2; Haws, Maria4; Holland, Kim3; Lukas, R.1; Luther, Doug2; Okimoto, Darren2; Pawlak, Geno2; Potemra, Jim2; Powell, Brian2; Shor, Alexander2; Steward, Grieg2
1University of Hawaii, UNITED STATES;
2University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, UNITED STATES;
3Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, UNITED STATES;
4University of Hawaii at Hilo, UNITED STATES

The Hawaii Ocean Observing System (HiOOS)
HiOOS is a coordinated effort among numerous researchers at the University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) as well as other federal, state, and county agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies to develop capabilities for collecting and serving oceanographic data from the Hawaiian coastal waters. Instrument development, deployment, and data collection are initially focused on the southern shore of O‘ahu and center on four main catalyst projects—areas of focus identified through workshops, conferences, and scoping meetings as high-priority to the large group of ocean information stakeholders. These projects, which support one another to enhance community capabilities and are prototypes of future regional development plans, consist of: (1) coastal ocean-state measurements and forecasting; (2) coastal hazards mitigation; (3) automated water quality sensing; and (4) marine ecosystem stewardship and monitoring. Each of the focus areas to the HiOOS depends upon a wide array of technology to produce very distinct product suites.

Coastal Ocean-State Measurements and Forecasting
Investigators are utilizing an array of high frequency Doppler radios along with AUVs and gliders, current meters, drifters, wave buoys, and coastal cameras. The HiOOS group integrates data from these sources into atmospheric (WRF, MM5), wave (WWIII, SWAN), and ocean circulation (HYCOM) models. Once coupled, the aggregate data can be used to monitor, model, and predict channel and nearshore circulation, waves, coastal run-up, and water levels. Efforts are underway to allow observations and model output to feed into a dynamic, web-based coastal ocean atlas providing interpretive products such as most efficient inter-island shipping lanes, hazardous conditions at beaches and in harbors, pollutant dispersion, and high water levels in vulnerable communities.
Assessment and Imaging of Coastal Hazards
The coastal hazards component of the observing system uses imaging technologies to track changes in coastal elevation and shape, and document the effects of incoming swell and high water levels on coastal beaches. By coupling LiDAR, digital still and video images, GPS, coastal erosion history, and digital elevation models (DEM) the investigators are able to determine the rates of change and shapes of shorelines, identify areas of frequent high-water level inundation, and provide more accurate predictions of the frequency and extent of coastal inundation and the potential effects of sea-level rise on the Hawaiian Islands.
Coastal Water Quality Sensing
Through an array of moorings, cabled observing assets, shipboard surveys, and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) surveys, the coastal water quality component of HiOOS actively monitors parameters related to coastal water quality including: currents, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, turbidity, and fluorescence. These data are used to provide early warning of potentially polluted runoff and/or sewage spills in real-time. These data will be coupled with coastal circulation models to predict which coastal areas are most likely affected by poor water quality. Additionally, water quality instrumentation is being deployed through the Pacific in collaboration with PacIOOS member states in an effort to build capacity throughout the region and address coastal environmental management concerns.
Monitoring of the Marine Ecosystem
The movement patterns of cetaceans and top predators are being tracked by a network of autonomous acoustic receivers and recorders deployed in the coastal and offshore waters around O‘ahu. Tuna, marlin, sharks, and other animals that have been tagged with active acoustic transmitters can be located and identified as they pass receivers, while ecological acoustic recorders record the sound of marine life (whales and dolphins, snapping shrimp, fishes) and vessel traffic. These acoustic arrays allow researchers to better link animal behavior within the ecosystem to physical and biogeochemical processes as well as monitor the activity of marine animals and humans in protected areas of the ocean.
Data Management
Crucial to the success of HiOOS is effective management of the data generated by the extensive suite of instrumentation. The integration of diverse and unique datasets collected throughout the state is accomplished through a unique data architecture that responds to the requests of the user and seamlessly marries relevant data streams to produce both conjoined datasets as well as user-defined products. Full data system development is currently in progress and is expected to be completed within the coming year---allowing the Hawai‘i Ocean Observing System to begin operational delivery of timely and relevant data, information, and products to the residents of Hawai‘i and the broader Pacific Islands region.

Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS)
The efforts of the HiOOS program also serve as the pilot project for the larger PacIOOS program currently being developed by researchers at SOEST, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and institutions through the insular Pacific region. PacIOOS is one of 11 regional associations (RAs) comprising the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) initiative and is focused on the US interests in the insular Pacific region, namely the State of Hawaii, the Territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the freely-associated states of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

With funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (NOAA), SOEST and its partners are in the process of conducting initial PacIOOS development activities focused on the following objectives:

  • Identify and engage stakeholders at federal, state, and local levels throughout all islands in the region to evaluate the need for and design of ocean observing information products and services;
  • Establish a governance structure and business plan with appropriate program oversight, coordination, and implementation mechanisms for the Hawai‘i sub-region of PacIOOS in conjunction with the PacIOOS pilot project (HiOOS);
  • Demonstrate the value and viability of sustained ocean observations in the Pacific Islands region through the creation of a complete observing system off the southern shore of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i (HiOOS).
  • Build ocean observing capacity throughout the region by deploying instrumentation, providing training, and disseminating data and products to relevant resource managers and other stakeholder groups.
    Testing a Coastal GPS Network for a Global Tsunami Warning System
    Song, Y. Tony
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, UNITED STATES

    Instantaneous GPS receivers can measure ground motions in real time as often as once every few seconds. Recently, we have found that coastal GPS stations are able to detect continental slope displacements of faulting due to large earthquakes and the GPS-detected displacements are able to estimate the disturbed oceanic energy and tsunami scales within a few minutes after the quake [Song, 2007, GRL]. This innovative method has successfully replicated several historical tsunamis - caused by the 2004 Sumatra earthquake, the 2005 Nias Islands earthquake, and the 1964 Alaska earthquake. These preliminary results suggest that a global tsunami warning system can be established based on a coastal GPS network for saving lives and reducing false alarms. This project has the following objectives:
    1. To demonstrate the prototype of a coastal GPS network for a global tsunami warning system;
    2. To test GPS capabilities for replicating historical earthquake tsunamis and feasibility for detecting tsunami scales with required accuracy;
    3. To improve the robustness a coupled earthquake-tsunami prediction system with using the GPS displacement measurements.
    This presentation will report the current progress and future activities.