Demo: Early Warning System for Oil Spills

In brief

A prototype of an “Early Warning System for Oil Spills” has been developed by the PERSEUS project to demonstrate to policy and decision-makers the usefulness of having in place early warning systems which can guide them in limiting the damaging effects of potential oil spills in their coastal and open waters. 
See the Early Warning System for Oil Spills
Who is the system for?
It is for national, regional and local authorities who are responsible for the environmental protection of their coastlines and open waters.
How does it work?
The system provides an innovative “24 hours advance notice” to a decision-maker on how the oil spill will spread given forecasted climatic conditions (e.g. wind, temperature, currents, etc.).  This system uses a time bar (scroll bar) on the map interface which allows the user to see a “minute-by-minute” forecast of the oil spill drift at specific time intervals over a 24-hour period following the beginning of the oil spill.
With this information, decision-makers are able to control the environmental and ecological hazards. By viewing how the oil spill spreads over time on an interactive map, decision-makers are in a much better position to take appropriate measures to contain the spill and focus directly on the threatened areas, without wasting time or resources.
What special features exist?
The GIS map is able to include various geospatial layers simultaneously (e.g. sea bathymetry, oceanographic conditions in the areas of the oil spill, oil spill depth, oil spill slick measurement, type of oil) in order to give the maximum information to the decision-makers. The map also features socio-economic information which can be factored into the scenario – for example, population data, economic activities which are taking place in the coastal areas nearby the oil spill (e.g. fisheries), etc.
Demo to full production
Currently, the system has the developed using a virtual oil spill located in the Saronikos Gulf coastal area, Greece. This system is a demonstration unit which is ready made to be configured and parameterized to act as a special Early Warning System in any marine area of the Mediterranean or Black Sea. For more information on customizing this system to your sea, please contact HCMR – Dr. Vasilis Lakes -