Article which appeared on the Giornale di Sicila on the 05th February 2013 in relation to the illegal dumping of hydrocarbons close to the marine protected area at the Egadi Islands. The article argues that with the installation of the CALYPSO project's HF radars, such illegal acitivty can be backtracked to the source.
CALYPSO Project 4th Meeting
29 Otctober 2012
Città della Scienza di Catania, via Scuto Costarelli
9:30 - Registration
10:00 - Weclome speeches:
Magnifico Rettore dell'Università degli Studi di Catania – Prof. Antonino Recca
Direttore Cutgana, Università degli Studi di Catania – Prof. Maria Carmela Failla
Questions and comments from the floor
Presidente Fondazione Cutgana – Prof. Angelo Messina
Calypso Project Coordinator, Prof. Aldo Drago (IOI - University of Malta) – Situation in Malta
Sicilian Focal Point, Dr. Giuseppe Ciraolo (Università degli Studi di Palermo) – Situation in Sicily
11:00 - Coffee break
11:30 - Dr. Fulvio Capodici (Università degli Studi di Palermo) – An HF radar system for the monitoring of sea surface currents and its installation in Sicily.
12:00 - Dr. Simone Consoli (Ogs Trieste) - Preliminary results from measurements made in the Sicilian Channel
12:20 - The use of HF radar systems for the prevension of natural and anthropocentric risks: intervensions from the INGV coast guards and Qualitas Remos srl.
13:30 - Lunch
Moderator: Piero Maenza
15:30 - Closed meeting – Città della Scienza di Catania via Scuto Costarelli
Comitato di pilotaggio
30 Ottobre 2012
Working group Calypso project
Sala conferenze Sede Cutgana San Gregorio di Catania, via Terzora 8
09:30 – 16:30
- Working group meeting(Coordinated by Cpt. Richard – Alfio Russo)
- Intervensions from the Stakeholders
13:30 - Lunch
16:30 - Meeting ends
Three SeaSondes will soon be providing realtime surface current maps in the strip of sea dividing Malta and Sicily, for the CALYPSO Project, coordinated by Prof. Aldo Drago from the University of Malta. Two units have already been installed and commissioned on northern Malta (Ta’Barkat and Ta’Sopu), with the final unit scheduled for installation in late OctoberC 2012 in southern Sicily (Port of Pozzallo). The CALYPSO radar network also includes latest technology to extend the coverage performance with use of Multi-Static Data Processing Software at one of the sites in Malta.
This is intended to extend the area of coverage closer to the Maltese coastline as well as to add redundancy in the conventional backscatter region, thereby increasing current measurement robustness. The network is managed using a state-of-the-art data management platform, which consists of the CODAR Central Management / Data Combining Station and the PORTUS by QUALITAS Marine Information System, providing data retrieval and combining from the radar stations, access to all SeaSonde data outputs (offline or through a web based viewer), powerful data sharing tools like OPEnDAP, ftp or WMS as well as advanced tools for system administration, monitoring and reporting.
CALYPSO primary aim is to support efficient response against marine oil spills in the Malta-Sicily Channel, that is one of the busiest areas of maritime transportation in the Mediterranean, accounting for roughly twenty percent of the world’s oil tanker traffic. An oil spill accident may cause a devastating damage to a small island state like Malta where economic assets and areas of touristic attraction are concentrated in space. Malta’s water desalinization plants are among the most vulnerable to oil spill objects since they provide the country’s major source of fresh water.
The routine acquisition of such spatially widespread, long-term data sets is expected to trigger an unprecedented leap in the economic value of ocean data and information, and will additionally target multiple applications and information users.This project puts Malta and Sicily at the forefront of such initiatives in the Mediterranean and will serve as a stepping stone to expand the system in the future for coverage of the full marine space around the Maltese Islands and the Sicilian perimeter.
CALYPSO brings together three other partners from Malta -Transport Malta, Civil Protection Department and Armed Forces of Malta – and four partners from Sicily – ARPA Sicilia, IAMC-CNR Capo Granitola, Università degli Studi di Palermo (UNIPA) and Università di Catania (CUTGANA). Spanish engineering company Qualitas Remos has been awarded the contract for radar supply, installation, commission and calibration.
Physical Oceanography Unit participates in the MALTEX 12 Oil Recovery Response Exercise
For the fifth year running the Physical Oceanography Unit (PO-Unit) of the University of Malta has participated in an oil recovery response simulation exercise organized by the Transport Authority Maritime Section in conjunction with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The exercise this year was conducted at a sea location off Qawra and was taken to happen at an offshore location to the north of Qawra Point. The simulated ficticious spill of heavy oil leaking to the surface was assumed to generate a patch with an approximate size of 550 x 600m.
The exercise served to demonstrate the benefits of the HF radar installations recently accomplished within the CALYPSO project that is partly financed by the EU under the Operational Programme Italia-Malta 2007-2013. The radars furnis nowcasts of sea surface currents in real time in the form of hourly averaged geo-referenced vector maps covering the stretch of sea between Malta and Sicily. The Malta MEDSLIK oil spill model was also employed to predict the circumstances and trajectory of the oil slick. This model accurately predicts the expected state of the oil upon arriving at a specific location, including an estimate of how much oil would have evaporated, the degree of its emulsification, the amount dispersed as fine droplets through the water column, where the oil spill will most likely move to, how soon it will get there and which natural resources are at risk. MEDSLIK also allows simulations having different boom orientations so as to assess the most adequate response under various scenarios.
Capt R. Gabriele (MMA) coordinated the event as chief response commander. The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM), Malta Maritime Pilots, the Health Department, the MET office, REMPEC, Tankship Management Ltd., Falzon Marine Group, Tug Malta and Cassar Ship Repair also participated in the event. Members of the PO-Unit provided input from the Emergency Control Centre (ECC) at Transport Malta.
Figure1: The predicted evolution of the simulated oil slick during the exercise.
Within the ambit of the CALYPSO project, the simulation exercise was followed by a dedicated meeting between local and Sicilian stakeholders to identify and facilitate technical co-operation and joint intervention in connection with response to oil pollution and emergencies.
Figure 1 shows how the slick would have progressed in the subsequent 36 hours under the action of meteorological and sea conditions forecasted by the PO-Unit. In this particular scenario, the oil spill model shows a south-easterly movement of the oil following a path parallel to the coast. The drift of the oil was forecasted to be very slow during the first day but had a more consistent movement during the second day mainly due to the wind forcing. Fortunately, no oil would have reached the coast after one and a half days.
The PO-Unit is capable of running simulations within an extended Malta shelf region as well as over the Central Mediterranean up to the Libyan shores, thereby covering more than Malta’s domain. The MEDSLIK model makes use of the ROSARIO II Forecasting System which is also run operationally by the PO-Unit and provides marine forecasts of sea surface temperature, sea currents and wind within the Malta shelf area. The forecast fields are published daily on a dedicated website: http://www.capemalta.net/MFSTEP/results0.html.
Around 20% of global oil transported by sea traverses the Mediterranean, amounting to an annual flux of 350 million tons of crude oil and refined products. Most of this maritime traffic travels across the Malta Channel and includes, besides oil, many other hazardous liquid substances. Hence, the risk of oil from marine spillages beaching on shores and hitting important economic resources and causing irreversible environmental damage is a very realistic menace in the stretch of sea between Malta and Sicily. Especially in a small island state like Malta where economic assets are concentrated in space, the damage would be even more devastating. Such risks can be highly minimised by using the best tools for surveillance, operational monitoring against pollution threats, as well as a capacity to respond with informed decisions in case of emergency.
Further upgrading to the forecasting and oil spill models is being done through the CALYPSO project which is partly financed by the EU under the Operational Programme Italia-Malta 2007-2013, and co-ordinated by Prof. Aldo Drago from the Physical Oceanography Unit. The main aim of this project is to utilise top-end technology, consisting of an array of HF radars to monitor in real-time marine surface conditions in the Malta Channel. The CALYPSO project brings together 4 partners from Malta (namely University of Malta, Transport Malta, Civil Protection Malta and Figure 2: HF radar installation sites in Malta and Sicily
Armed Forces of Malta) and 4 partners from Sicily (ARPA Sicilia, IAMC-CNR Capo Granitola, Università degli Studi di Palermo and Universita’ Di Catania). The consortium consists of research entities and also public entities with responsibilities for civil and environmental protection, surveillance, security and response to hazards.
The HF radar system set-up within this project consists of permanent installations on the Malta/Gozo northern shoreline and on the southern Sicilian side as shown in Figure 2. The system is able to operate routinely to provide synoptic maps of currents in real-time every hour and with a high resolution and coverage in space. Data from the HF radars together with outputs from numerical modelling applications that will be also further developed within this project, provide accurate information that allow the monitoring and effective response for the eventuality of an oil spill. Sicilian partners also attended the MALTEX12 event.
Corriere della Sera > Scienze > Petrolio: un Grande Fratello tra Sicilia e Malta contro gli sversamenti illegali
IL PROGETTO CALYPSO
Installazione di tre radar ad alta frequenza, di cui uno a Pozzallo, in provincia di Ragusa
Arriva il Grande Fratello del mare. Osservato speciale il braccio di mare tra la Sicilia e Malta; l'obiettivo è ridurre i danni derivati dallo sversamento di idrocarburi. Il monitoraggio sarà possibile grazie all'installazione di tre radar ad alta frequenza (HF radar): due in territorio maltese e uno in Sicilia. I lavori per l'innalzamento delle antenne inizieranno entro giugno nei siti maltesi di Ta' Barkat e Ta' Sopu (quest'ultimo sull'isola di Gozo), mentre partiranno entro la fine dell'anno quelli per il sito siciliano di Pozzallo, in provincia di Ragusa. Capofila del progetto Calypso è l'Università di Malta a cui si affiancano l'Autorità dei trasporti, le Forze armate e il Dipartimento di protezione civile. Sul versante italiano, i partner del progetto sono gli atenei di Palermo e Catania, l'Arpa Sicilia e il Cnr di capo Granitola.