Implementation of an innovative system to monitor the state of the sea in climate change scenarios


The frequency of extreme meteo-marine events in the Malta-Sicily Channel has increased during the last decades due to climate change, resulting in an increased risk of threats from the sea. It is therefore increasingly important to take actions to mitigate these threats. Currently, the data collected from the monitoring systems, available both on the southern coast of Sicily and close to the Maltese coast, are not integrated with each other. For this reason, the available data is often heterogeneous and discontinuous.

The aim of the project is to set up a systematic, cross-border action, that will mitigate the coastal risk. Through i-waveNET, an innovative monitoring network, integrating different measurement technologies, such as HF radars, microseism sensors, sea level probes, wave buoys and weather stations, will be implemented.

The existing meteo station and HF Radar networks will be complemented with new installations at strategic points. The data collected by the new installations will be standardised, validated and integrated with the in situ meteo-marine measurements, with ECMWF models and COPERNICUS-CMEMS products. Machine and deep learning algorithms will allow the study of wave motion even through seismic signals. A spectral wave model using measurements from the newly set-up network, will provide real-time information about the sea state on a regular grid over a large spatial domain.

The final and operational product of the project will be a decision support system (DSS) that will allow stake holders to take strategic decisions, necessary for routine operations and during emergency situations, through the superimposition of various information layers. Finally, the measurements collected and products derived from them will allow the creation of a database, aimed at mitigating the risk coming from the sea.