Biological behaviour and effects
Simulated distribution of herring larvae 15 days after the start of the hatching season at Røstbanken.
The distribution of maximum environmental risk (PEC/PNEC) in the plume of a simulated produced water release
SINTEF has numerical environmental impact and risk assessment tools for the evaluation of contaminant releases to the environment. The models DREAM and OSCAR calculate the transport, physical-chemical behavior, fates and effects of pollutants in the sea, including biological exposure and risk. These 3-dimensional models use hydrodynamic and wind data to calculate three-dimensional concentration, exposure, and risk fields. The fate of individual chemical components is calculated from their physical, chemical and biological properties.
An important aspect of the modelling is the estimation of the potential ecological injury from the release. These calculations are base on the coexistence of chemical components and biota in time and space as well as data on the toxicity of single chemical components, or groups of components. Biological exposure may be calculated for planktonic organisms passively drifting with the current, and for more mobile species such as fish, actively moving in the recipient. Hatching may be defined in GIS-based areas where eggs/larvae may be released during a specific time period. The positions of these organisms are tracked and the degree of exposure as well as uptake of components may be calculated continuously. Body burden is calculated on the basis of known uptake and depuration constants.
Environmental risk based on the water concentration and the predicted no effect concentration (PEC/PNEC) may be calculated continuously through the entire recipient. The total risk is based on the added risk from all chemical components. The models may also be used in order to identify the most environmentally harmful components in a complex release. This is done for instance in estimation of the “Environmental Impact Factor” (EIF) used by the oil industry in their work to reduce the environmental impact of releases.
Contact person: Trond Nordtug