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Mar Pollut Bull. 2016 Jan 15;102(1):44-57. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.12.005. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Assessing oil spill sensitivity in unsheltered coastal environments: A case study for Lithuanian-Russian coasts, South-eastern Baltic Sea.

Author information

1
KlaipÄ—da University, Marine Science and Technology Centre (KU-MARSTEC), H. Manto Street 84, LT, 92294 KlaipÄ—da, Lithuania; Environmental Management Center, Mykolas Romeris University (EMC-MRU), Ateities Street 20, LT, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania. Electronic address: danny_green@hotmail.com.
2
Environmental Management Center, Mykolas Romeris University (EMC-MRU), Ateities Street 20, LT, 08303 Vilnius, Lithuania.

Abstract

This study presents a series of oil spill indexes for the characterization of physical and biological sensitivity in unsheltered coastal environments. The case study extends over 237 km of Lithuanian-Russian coastal areas subjected to multiple oil spill threats. Results show that 180 km of shoreline have environmental sensitivity index (ESI) of score 3. Natural clean-up processes depending on (a) shoreline sinuosity, (b) orientation and (c) wave exposure are favourable on 72 km of shoreline. Vulnerability analysis from pre-existing Kravtsovskoye D6 platform oil spill scenarios indicates that 15.1 km of the Curonian Spit have high impact probability. The highest seafloor sensitivity within the 20 m isobath is at the Vistula Spit and Curonian Spit, whereas biological sensitivity is moderate over the entire study area. The paper concludes with the importance of harmonized datasets and methodologies for transboundary oil spill impact assessment.

KEYWORDS:

Baltic Sea; GIS; Lithuania and Russia; Oil spill sensitivity; Seafloor sensitivity; Vulnerability

PMID:
26705575
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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