Modelling thickness variations of macrofouling communities on offshore platforms in the Dutch North Sea

L.P. Almeida, J.W.P. Coolen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Offshore energy production has been a rising industry in the North Sea since the past century and will likely gain more importance in the future with the increasing development of renewable alternatives. The platforms that are responsible for harvesting and producing energy provide a hard substrate in areas where most substrate is soft, establishing a habitat for fouling communities to settle and to grow on. With time, these communities start to compose a problem for energy production companies, as their natural increase in biomass may pose risks to the platform foundations, leading to the necessity of performing regular inspection so the installations can keep working properly. To address this issue and to better understand how cleaning efforts can be directed, a model was created to relate the growth of these fouling communities with different environmental variables. The variables tested were related to sea surface salinity and temperature, seafloor topography, distance to shore, depth, current and wind velocity, fish abundance, concentration of suspended particulate matter and chlorophyll and presence or absence of artificial structures. Our results indicated that depth and chlorophyll concentration in the water column where the main factors affecting biomass variations in fouling communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101836
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Volume156
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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fouling
North Sea
energy
chlorophyll
modeling
substrate
sea surface salinity
biomass
current velocity
suspended particulate matter
cleaning
wind speed
topography
particulates
seafloor
sea surface temperature
wind velocity
water column
salinity
industry

Cite this

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title = "Modelling thickness variations of macrofouling communities on offshore platforms in the Dutch North Sea",
abstract = "Offshore energy production has been a rising industry in the North Sea since the past century and will likely gain more importance in the future with the increasing development of renewable alternatives. The platforms that are responsible for harvesting and producing energy provide a hard substrate in areas where most substrate is soft, establishing a habitat for fouling communities to settle and to grow on. With time, these communities start to compose a problem for energy production companies, as their natural increase in biomass may pose risks to the platform foundations, leading to the necessity of performing regular inspection so the installations can keep working properly. To address this issue and to better understand how cleaning efforts can be directed, a model was created to relate the growth of these fouling communities with different environmental variables. The variables tested were related to sea surface salinity and temperature, seafloor topography, distance to shore, depth, current and wind velocity, fish abundance, concentration of suspended particulate matter and chlorophyll and presence or absence of artificial structures. Our results indicated that depth and chlorophyll concentration in the water column where the main factors affecting biomass variations in fouling communities.",
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Modelling thickness variations of macrofouling communities on offshore platforms in the Dutch North Sea. / Almeida, L.P.; Coolen, J.W.P.

In: Journal of Sea Research, Vol. 156, 101836, 01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - Offshore energy production has been a rising industry in the North Sea since the past century and will likely gain more importance in the future with the increasing development of renewable alternatives. The platforms that are responsible for harvesting and producing energy provide a hard substrate in areas where most substrate is soft, establishing a habitat for fouling communities to settle and to grow on. With time, these communities start to compose a problem for energy production companies, as their natural increase in biomass may pose risks to the platform foundations, leading to the necessity of performing regular inspection so the installations can keep working properly. To address this issue and to better understand how cleaning efforts can be directed, a model was created to relate the growth of these fouling communities with different environmental variables. The variables tested were related to sea surface salinity and temperature, seafloor topography, distance to shore, depth, current and wind velocity, fish abundance, concentration of suspended particulate matter and chlorophyll and presence or absence of artificial structures. Our results indicated that depth and chlorophyll concentration in the water column where the main factors affecting biomass variations in fouling communities.

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