Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 815–829 | Cite as

Identification of the environmentally safe fairway in the South-Western Baltic Sea and Kattegat

  • Xi Lu
  • Tarmo Soomere
  • Emil V. Stanev
  • Jens Murawski


Application of the preventive techniques for the optimisation of fairways in the south-western Baltic Sea and the Kattegat in terms of protection of the coastal regions against current-driven surface transport of adverse impacts released from vessels is considered. The techniques rely on the quantification of the offshore domains (the points of release of adverse impacts) in terms of their ability to serve as a source of remote, current-driven danger to the nearshore. An approximate solution to this inverse problem of current-driven transport is obtained using statistical analysis of a large pool of Lagrangian trajectories of water particles calculated based on velocity fields from the Denmark’s Meteorological Institute (DMI)/BSH cmod circulation model forced by the DMI-HIRHAM wind fields for 1990–1994. The optimum fairways are identified from the spatial distributions of the probability of hitting the coast and for the time (particle age) it takes for the pollution to reach the coast. In general, the northern side of the Darss Sill area and the western domains of the Kattegat are safer to travel. The largest variations in the patterns of safe areas and the properties of pollution beaching occur owing to the interplay of water inflow and outflow. The gain from the use of the optimum fairways is in the range of 10–30 % in terms of the decrease in the probability of coastal hit within 10 days after pollution release or an increase by about 1–2 days of the time it takes for the hit to occur.


Particle tracking Baltic Sea fairways Inflow and outflow events 



Thanks are due to two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and to J. Dippner who motivated us to address in this research the broader aspect of mathematical modelling of transport of pollution in water. This study was supported by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013) under grant agreement no. 217246 made with the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme BONUS within the Baltic Way project. The research was partially supported by targeted financing from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science (grant no. SF0140007s11) and the Estonian Science Foundation (grant no. 9125). TS gratefully acknowledges the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundations for performing research in the HZG in June–September 2011.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xi Lu
    • 1
  • Tarmo Soomere
    • 2
    • 4
  • Emil V. Stanev
    • 1
  • Jens Murawski
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Coastal ResearchHZG GeesthachtGeesthachtGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Cybernetics at Tallinn University of TechnologyTallinnEstonia
  3. 3.Danish Meteorological InstituteCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.Estonian Academy of SciencesTallinnEstonia

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