Oil Spill Sensitivity Mapping

GE SVThis project was commissioned by SOTEAG and funded by SVA Ltd (Shetland Islands Council, TAQA and BP). The result is probably the world’s best example of an oil spill planning tool at the local level. The project created maps showing resources and communities that could be harmed in the event of a spill. These focus attention on the locations of things that are important to planners and oil spill responders. For example, we made maps that show the locations of sensitive environments, drinking water intakes, roads, accessibility, pipelines, and boat launches. National data on the locations of these features were scrutinised and local resources and vulnerabilities were mapped – not all data used was ‘off the shelf’.

The GIS and Google Earth outputs also provided detailed information about each of the items shown on a map, such as mitigation in the event of a spill, or the times of the year that sensitive species are in the area, including population numbers.

Google Earth also helped to determine the best way to get to potential spill sites and identify areas that responders might have difficulty accessing. The files are compatible with MCA systems to map oil spill trajectory and are easily emailed between users.

Having all of this data easily accessible in one place and being able to see these things in relation to each other has made planning more effective.

Please contact us if you would like to find out more concerning the oil spill sensitivity mapping process.