Latest Tweets

Black Sea and Danube Regional Initiative – Black Sea Environmental Protection



The Black sea is located in the north-eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a semi-closed basin that communicates with the Planetary Ocean through the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits. The water balance is highly imposed by the freshwater inputs from some of the biggest rivers in Europe in terms of solid and liquid discharge: (e.g. Danube). As an endorheic system, the main characteristics that make Black Sea a special study place are the input of significant freshwater, the lack of strong vertical currents, and the limited water exchange with the Mediterranean Sea.

Earth observation services for Black Sea Protection (EO4BSP) overlap the entire area of the Black Sea and propose a holistic approach that covers different elements with potential environmental impact.The project will implement six services that are going to be delivered to a number of 13 stakeholders from the Black Sea riparian countries and one International organization – The Black Sea Commission.

S1 – Land Use – Land Cover coastal changes. Economic development is associated with land-use changes, transforming the natural green zones into exclusive anthropogenic areas. Analysis and modeling of land-use change trends and urbanization allow us to evaluate the spatial development patterns providing a key for effective planning practices in the context of Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and Maritime
Spatial Planning (MSP) implementation.

S2 – Eutrophication. Eutrophication represents one of the most severe and widespread environmental problems for coastal zone managers (IOCCG Report Number 3, 2000). In the “Black Sea region briefing – The European environment — state and outlook 2015” published by European Environmental Agency, eutrophication is considered one of the main four key transboundary challenges of the Black Sea.

S3 – Marin Front Identification and mesoscale circulation. This service will include data fusion, satellite observations, numerical modeling, and data assimilation, as well as skill assessment and metrics with a focus on sea state, temperature, turbidity, and SPM, identification of ocean fronts. EO4BSP will provide services, based on numerical simulation and data assimilation, of currents, salinity and temperature, and distribution, height and period of wind waves, ocean colour, sediment transport dynamics, and biogeochemical component as well as the forecast of these parameters.

S4 – Oil Tankers path identification.This service will make use of historical AIS data. Provided by EMODnet, the present data can be used in many ways, not only for oil tankers’ path identification but also for illegal trafficking in the Black Sea. S.4 will be used as decision tool for stakeholders. This application will be intimately linked with the Oil spill monitoring service.

S5 – Oil spills identification and monitoring.Maritime surveillance activities are traditionally carried out by patrol ships or aircraft. However, in recent years the use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and optical satellite imagery has proved highly effective in ship traffic and oil spill monitoring. The capability of observing wide areas in almost all-weather and light conditions makes SAR sensors the most suitable tool for
maritime surveillance purposes.

S6 – High-resolution water quality monitoring in anchorage areas. Monitoring water quality parameters through remote sensing techniques may offer a comprehensive overview of water bodies due to the spatial and spectral capabilities of the sensors. The spatial and temporal distribution of these indicators will reveal the improvement or alteration of the surface water health status. This may be a consequence of nutrients or organic pollution or contamination of waters with hazardous substances. The service will focus on: chlorophyll a (chl_a), turbidity, and total suspended matter (TSM). Monitoringthe evolution of this parameter at several moments would reveal the anchorage areas aquatic ecosystem’s health status.


Prime contractor
  • Deimos Engenharia (PT)