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Manual Reference Potential impact of wash water effluents from scrubbers on water acidification in the southern North Sea
Sulphur Oxides (SOx) in atmospheric ship emissions resulting from the burning of fuel with high sulphur content are known to be harmful to human and ecosystem health. Since January 1st 2020, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) lowered the previous limit for sulphur content in ship fuel from 3.5% m/m (mass by mass) to 0.50%. In the emission control areas (SECAs), the limit for the sulphur content had been set to 1.0% in 2010 and is kept below 0.1% since 2015. To comply with these limits, ship operators and owners can switch to fuel oil with lower sulphur content (LSFO). Alternatively, they can continue to burn fuel with high sulphur content by using technical means such as exhaust gas cleaning systems (or scrubbers) that reduce the atmospheric SOx emissions to a level equivalent to the required fuel oil sulphur limit. Scrubbers use sea water as cleaning media to remove SOx from the air emissions. There are three main categories of scrubbers: (1) the open-loop scrubbers that continuously discharge their wash water effluent, (2) the closed-loop scrubbers that treat the wash water before it is discharged, and (3) the hybrid scrubbers that can switch from open to closed modes. Scrubbers transform the air pollution into direct marine discharge. As hybrid scrubbers are more likely to discharge their sulphur waste into sea water rather than using land infrastructures, they are hereafter taken as open-loop ones. The effect of SOx contribution from ship on sea water pH is assessed for the English Channel and the southern North Sea by means of a marine biogeochemical model that includes a detailed description of the carbonate chemistry. This model allows testing different scenarios of SOx contribution resulting from the maritime traffic. To this end, realistic scenarios with ship traffic density estimated for the years 2019, 2020 and 2030, assuming a year-to-year ship traffic increase of 3.5% and several SOx pollution reduction strategies have been tested. An additional model simulation with null SOx contribution from the shipping sector is used as a reference level to comparatively assess the impact of each scenario on the sea water pH. Model results show a pH decrease of 0.004 units over the whole domain in case of a 2019-like ship traffic density with 15% of the fleet (in Gross Tonnage) using open-loop and hybrid scrubber systems. For future scenarios, assuming that 35% of the fleet is equipped with open-loop and hybrid scrubbers, the pH is estimated to decrease by 0.008 to 0.010 units in average over the whole domain. The magnitude of pH changes is not evenly distributed through space. According to the model results, the largest pH changes would occur in areas of high traffic density, such as along the Belgian and Dutch coasts and in the vicinity of large harbours such as Rotterdam. Ocean acidification rate attributed to climate change is estimated at 0.0017-0.0027 pH units per year. In comparison, the total pH decrease owing to the use of open-loop scrubbers would be equivalent to 2 to 4 years of climate change acidification on average over the whole domain, and to 10 to 50 years, in more local areas. The cumulative impact of ocean acidification due to climate change and to maritime traffic should therefore be considered in ecosystem assessment studies.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020
Inbook Reference Predictive modelling of seafloor surficial gravel distribution within the Princess Elisabeth offshore wind farm zone (Belgium).
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Techreport Reference Preliminaire evaluatie van mogelijke gevolgen van de inplanting van een eiland aan de rand van het Habitatrichtlijngebied Vlaamse Banken
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021 OA
Techreport Reference Preliminary Report on joint sensitivity mapping. Final Report MUMM of Task F of the BE-AWARE project, Bonn Agreement, 26 pp.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Techreport Reference Progress report Year 2, WP4 - Sediment plume dilution and dispersion. Report JPI--oceans "Ecological impacts of deep-sea mining"
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017
Techreport Reference Proposal of follow-up action for BONN on the Compliance monitoring pilot for MARPOL Annex VI (CompMon).
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017
Unpublished Reference Quantification of hydrodynamic changes induced by an offshore mussel aquaculture farm (SYMAPA)
The goal of this numerical study is the quantification of hydrodynamic changes (especially sea currents) induced by an offshore aquaculture farm similar to that of the industrial project “Westdiep Sea Farm”. To do that, a parameterization of the impact of longlines and droppers on hydrodynamics has been included in the 3D COHERENS hydrodynamic model and the impact of several configurations of the aquaculture farm on currents and bottom shear stress has been estimated in a simplified test case. The mussel aquaculture technique of longlines used in this project is known to disturb currents by, among other things, increasing the velocity of currents under the farm and significantly increasing the turbulence developing in the wake of the rigs. From an environmental point of view, an open question is whether or not these changes can modify the erosion/sedimentation pattern around the farm, leading, for example, to a risk of destabilization of the neighbouring sandbanks. As part of the SYMAPA (Synergy between Mariculture & Passive Fisheries) project, the goal is to link current variations in and around the farm to the amount of food available for mussels attached to droppers. At the seabed, a link between hydrodynamic processes and modification of the sedimentation scheme may be considered following this report. This preliminary study can help lead to the final goal of determining the scope of the impact that the aquaculture farm may have on the ecosystems in the farm and on the benthos. Three major effects will be studied for three different farm designs: the impact on surface currents, the sinking of currents under the farm and the impact on bottom shear stress.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022 OA
Unpublished Reference Quantification of hydrodynamic changes induced by an offshore mussel aquaculture farm (Part 1)
The goal of this end-of-studies internship proposed by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) is the quantification of hydrodynamic changes (especially sea currents) induced by an offshore aquaculture farm similar to that of the industrial project “Westdiep Sea Farm”. The mussel aquaculture technique used in this project is known to disturb currents by, among other things, increasing the velocity of currents under the farm and significantly increasing the turbulence developing in the wake of the rigs. However, according to the knowledge of the RBINS, no study quantifies these disturbances. From an environmental point of view, an open question is whether or not these changes can modify the erosion/sedimentation pattern around the farm, leading, for example, to a risk of destabilization of the neighbouring sandbanks. First, the objective of this internship is to implement the parameterization of droppers impacts in the COHERENS hydrodynamic model. For this, a literature study will be carried out. Then, a sensitivity study will be conducted in order to use the implementation in a test case of a similar and simplified mussel farm. If time permits, the final objective would be to apply these different tests and simulations on the realistic case of the "Westdiep Sea Farm".
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022 OA
Unpublished Reference Quantification of hydrodynamic changes induced by an offshore mussel aquaculture farm using COHERENS (Part 2)
The goal of this numerical study is the quantification of hydrodynamic changes (especially sea currents) induced by an offshore aquaculture farm similar to that of the industrial project “Westdiep Sea Farm”. To do that, a parameterization of the impact of longlines and droppers on hydrodynamics has been included in the 3D COHERENS hydrodynamic model and the impact of several configurations of the aquaculture farm on currents and bottom shear stress has been estimated in a simplified test case. In this previous internship project, a numerical study to quantify the impacts of an offshore aquaculture farm on hydrodynamics processes has been performed. To do so, a new module has been developed in the COHERENS model to compute the drag forces exerted by the droppers and then this module has been applied on a simplified case study, i.e. a modest farm with up to 40 longlines of 104 droppers and located in a straight open channel of 500 m width and 2 km length. The simulations show that, in all configurations tested, the presence of droppers significantly changes the hydrodynamics of the channel. Particularly, analysis of the bottom shear stress variations allowed to conclude that the presence of a modest offshore aquaculture farm could modify the erosion/sedimentation pattern around the farm, leading, for example, to a risk of destabilization of the neighbouring sandbanks, which would justify the implementation of an environmental monitoring program. Nevertheless, this previous work remains a preliminary study and many simplifications have been applied in order to obtain results in the given time. This second work (Part 2) will allow to refine the physics of the test channel in order to make it more realistic and to obtain results more faithful to the hydrodynamic reality in the North Sea. In this report, different sensitivity studies will be carried out mainly for the first phase of the project. Several metrics will be illustrated. Then, comparisons between the different phases will be made.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022 OA
Techreport Reference Radar registrations of bird migration validation through an interdisciplinary approach (RAVen project)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019