Sea Management
Sea Management

In the marine-coastal area LaMMA is engaged in a variety of activities related to risk prediction and mapping; some examples are illustrated below.   

  • The proximity between marine and coastal areas of high environmental value, such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Parks, and areas with high density of vessel traffic, ports or other human activities of potential impact, is a source of spatially distributed risk that also varies according to the characteristics of currents, biodiversity and substances released (IMPACT and SICOMAR+ projects).
  •  The simultaneous presence of plastics and microplastics and marine organisms that may ingest them is a further source of risk that varies over time and also depends on the regime of currents and biological dynamics.
  • The coastal environment is subject to risks that are a function of the probability associated with intense storms and the degree of vulnerability of a certain stretch of coastline. The latter may be more or less susceptible to erosion or host structures of economic and environmental importance.


Coastal risk modelling

The risk associated with a given storm surge makes it possible to quantify the hazard of a certain event based on its probability of occurrence and its potential effect on the territory or expected damage. The latter can be considered dependent on vulnerability (i.e. susceptibility to damage) and the value assigned to the damaged asset. 
To character

se the potential risk associated with wave motion forecasts along the Tuscan coast, the LaMMA Consortium is developing a procedure based on determining the probability of occurrence of a certain event and its effect on the coast in terms of potential damage

In order to estimate the probability of occurrence of a meteomarine event characterised by a certain wave height, extreme event analysis of historical data series is used. These data are produced by wave development and propagation models (WW3) covering the Mediterranean basin with higher resolution near the coast. Information on the damage associated with an event with a specific probability is obtained from numerical modelling of the effects of intense storm surges on the coast (XBeach) and from information provided by local administrations.


Satellite monitoring of sea health  

The LaMMA operates satellite monitoring of the water quality of the sea through 8-day averaged observations of the following parameters:

  • Chlorophyll maps as an index of the trophic state of the sea. Monitoring surface chlorophyll concentration, which is a proxy for phytoplankton biomass, is an efficient tool for understanding the response of the marine ecosystem to anthropogenic pressures.  
  • Water Clarity or turbidity index derived from suspended sediment and KD490. Suspended sediments include organic and inorganic matter, affect light penetration into the water and introduce new nutrients into the system, strongly influencing phytoplankton primary production

  • Sea Surface Temperature for the observation of surface temperature, Temperature influences numerous parameters such as metabolism of organisms and productivity from photosynthesis) and can alter the physical and chemical properties of water (e.g. acidification).