EU flagHNS-MS has been funded by DG-ECHO under agreement ECHO/SUB/2014/693705

Improving Member States preparedness to face an HNS pollution of the Marine System (HNS-MS)

· Tasks and methods ·

Tasks and methods

The HNS-MS project workflow is made of 8 tasks:

Structure of the HNS-MS project
Structure of the HNS-MS project

The tasks are articulated around 4 major axes:

Lab experiments

The first axis aims at collating or producing data and information to support the development of the HNS drift and fate model. First a selection of 100 important HNS transported in the Bonn Agreement area will be performed from a literature and database review. Then, keeping in mind that only processes fully understood can accurately be simulated; several laboratory experiments will be carried out in order to improve our understanding of HNS behaviour both in the water column and at the sea surface. For instance, for the first time, a Lab experiment will be conducted in order to quantify the competition between the evaporation and dissolution kinetics of chemical floating at the sea surface. Finally, the results of the Lab experiments will be validated at sea.

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Mathematical modelling

The second axis aims at developing a 3D HNS drift and fate modelling software. Instead of starting the development from scratch, the HNS-MS model will be an in-depth evolution of the Belgian operational 3D oil spill drift and fate model OSERIT, first by incorporating the features already available in the CLARA and Methane blow-out models (i.e. tools recently developed by the consortium partners) and then by developing new modules able to simulate the HNS behaviour observed in the Lab experiments. The new model will -of course- be validated against the results of the field experiments. Finally, acknowledging the threat to humans, flora and fauna due to HNS gas clouds, an atmospheric dispersion model will be implemented as a quick decision-support tool predicting the fate of the evaporated HNS fraction.

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Socio-economic vulnerabilities

The third axis aims at determining in operational conditions the benefit of a GIS tool to provide geographical information on the HNS-sensitive environmental and socioeconomic features. Subject to the agreement of Bonn Agreement contracting parties, this third axis in terms of person months might greatly benefit from the outcomes of the on-going project BE-AWARE 2, also funded by DG-ECHO.

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Decision support tool

Finally, the fourth axis aims at integrating all the previously obtained results in an intuitive, easy-to-use operational web-based HNS decision-support tool for the Bonn Agreement area. This decision-support tool is the expected results of the HNS-MS project.

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  About the project

HNS-MS is a decision-support tool that Belgian and French maritime authorities as well as coastguard stations can activate in order to forecast the drift, fate and behavior of acute marine pollution by Harmful Noxious Substances (HNS) accidentally released in the marine system.

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EU flagHNS-MS has been funded by DG-ECHO under agreement ECHO/SUB/2014/693705 and runs from 1 January 2015 to 31 March 2017.