CEDA Iberian Conference

Dredging for sustainable port development

Innovations in environmental management of large marine infrastructure projects

27-28 October 2016, Lisbon, Portugal

Boudewijn Decrop, IMDC, Belgium

During large dredging and marine infrastructure projects, pre-defined environmental quality objectives (EQO) are to be respected. In the recent past, environmental awareness and by consequence environmental legislation has become stronger. As a result, dredging contractors and dredging consultancy have been faced with the challenge to implement better control mechanisms for environmental management purposes. To this end, pro-active adaptive environmental management has been developed, or EcoPAM.

EcoPAM combines field monitoring, satellite imaging, numerical modelling and operational forecasting. Real-time field monitoring of water quality parameters allows for issuing an early warning in case signals are registered that EQO’s will potentially be breached. Satellite images serve for baseline studies and incident analysis with respect to turbidity thresholds and sediment plume monitoring. Numerical models allow for feasibility-stage analysis of sediment plume and pollutant dispersion during hypothetical dredging scenarios. Moreover, during project execution numerical modelling allows for predictions of marine currents and plume dispersion up to 5 days in the future. This allows for operational forecasting of potential EQO breaching and subsequently for pro-active adaptation of the dredging scenarios.

These tools are brought together in a web-based system in which the different data streams are visualised and analysed. Satellite images and plume modelling results are consulted in a map viewer with different layers. Monitoring time series can be consulted and project-specific automatic warning systems can be implemented.

Contractors and environmental consultants can therefore rely on a single, online system for most aspects of environmental management of a marine infrastructure or port construction project.

Last update: 7 November 2016