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Asnaghi V.,University of Genoa | Pecorino D.,University of Genoa | Ottaviani E.,On AIR S.r.l. | Pedroncini A.,DHI S.r.l. | And 2 more authors.
Harmful Algae | Year: 2017

Harmful algal blooms have been increasing in frequency in recent years, and attention has shifted from describing to modeling and trying to predict these phenomena, since in many cases they pose a risk to human health and coastal activities. Predicting ecological phenomena is often time and resource consuming, since a large number of field collected data are required. We propose a novel approach that involves the use of modeled meteorological data as input features to predict the concentration of the toxic benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata in seawater. Ten meteorological features were used to train a Quantile Random Forests model, which was then validated using field collected concentration data over the course of a summer sampling season. The proposed model was able to accurately describe Ostreopsis abundance in the water column in response to meteorological variables. Furthermore, the predictive power of this model appears good, as indicated by the validation results, especially when the quantile for predictions is tuned to match management requirements. The Quantile Random Forests method was selected, as it allows for greater flexibility in the generated predictions, thus making this model suitable as a tool for coastal management. The application of this approach is novel, as no other models or tools that are adaptable to this degree are currently available. The model presented here was developed for a single species over a limited geographical extension, but its methodological basis appears flexible enough to be applied to the prediction of HABs in general and it could also be extended to the case of other ecological phenomena that are strongly dependent on meteorological drivers, that can be independently modeled and potentially globally available. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Vairo T.,ARPAL | Pastorino R.,University of Genoa | Rehman A.,University of Genoa | Fabiano B.,University of Genoa
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2015

The main threat from ship accidents is connected to the transport of chemical/petrochemical products and possible environmental impact from leakages. However, in case of sensitive environmental targets, a serious threat can be represented by cruise ship too, as demonstrated by Costa Concordia, a perfect example of a modern cruise ship that capsized in 2012, under calm sea and clear visibility conditions near the shore of Giglio Isle, Italy. This paper approaches cruise risk assessment in a vulnerable area located about 25 km East of Genoa with 13 km of coastline into the Ligurian gulf. The framework allows the attainment of cautious values of the maximum affected and hazardous areas, in connection with fire scenarios and smoke spreading. The conservative results are to be considered in setting-up emergency planning with appropriate response equipment, fire-fighting and lightering resources and can be a powerful tool to design optimal ship route and temporary docking points for cruise tourism, thereby balancing economic issues and inherent safety criteria. Copyright © 2015, AIDIC ServiziS.r.l.

Vairo T.,ARPAL | Quagliati M.,ARPAL | Del Giudice T.,ARPAL | Barbucci A.,University of Genoa | Fabiano B.,University of Genoa
Safety Science | Year: 2016

Even if safety in the shipping industry improved significantly over the last decades, by novel design and construction techniques, driven by technological, cultural and regulation improvements, recent passenger ship accidents emphasized that significant safety challenges still remain. The modern trend towards large cruise ships can pose a serious threat in terms of both people evacuation/rescue and potential impact on sensible environmental targets. This paper firstly presents a critical analysis of three passenger ship accidents, identifying main similarities with the process sector and relevant learning points. Secondly, the study approaches risk evaluation, acceptance criteria and sea use planning in connection with cruise activity, referring to the worldwide known sensible area of Portofino (Italy). By utilizing numerical methods, the study develops a consequence-based framework incorporating the effects, the hazardous distance and the reaction time scale, related to fuel spill and fire scenarios with smoke spreading. The results evidence that the approach can be a powerful tool to design optimal ship route and temporary docking points for cruise tourism, balancing economic issues and mitigating physical impact to sensitive biological communities. Additionally, it can provide a technical basis for setting-up emergency planning, with appropriate response equipment and thus minimizing coastal impact from a spill. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Vairo T.,ARPAL | Curro F.,University of Genoa | Scarselli S.,Studio Tecnico | Fabiano B.,University of Genoa
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2014

In this paper, a comparative study of different dispersion models considering stack emissions from a coalfired power plant. Modelling comparison study was performed utilizing Safe-Air II, a reliable Lagrangian model and ADMS 5adopting a skewed Gaussian representation. Fallouts were estimated starting from the statistical elaboration of meteorological data of the year 2012.Results evidenced a satisfactory agreement with measured data from monitoring stations, both in the discrete values and in the monthly and hourly averages. Furthermore, within an impact radius 40 km from the source, the areas of highest and lowest fallouts were identified in order to explore the possibility of considering lichens as potential bio-monitors, being well established their sensitivity to SO2 and eventual damage to the thalli. © Copyright 2014, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

Pastorino R.,University of Genoa | Vairo T.,ARPAL | Benvenuto A.,University of Genoa | Fabiano B.,University of Genoa
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2014

As widely known, urban port areas represent considerably complex systems, both from the environmental and safety viewpoints, especially in case of nearness with installations of temporary storage, or handling of goods (known as "distriparks"). This paper offers a perspective on the different aspects of risk in an urban port area, considering both personnel and process related safety issues. Dealing with the latter aspect, area risk evaluation can be faced by recomposing the risk connected to loading/unloading activities and different transportation modes in the shipping areas, with the contribution due to the stationary industrial equipments/plants. The validity of the framework was tested considering a noticeable Italian case-study, starting from a detailed inventory of the more frequently dangerous goods handled in the area and the maximum credible amounts stored for a meaningful time (temporary storage). © Copyright 2014, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

Vairo T.,ARPAL | Pastorino R.,University of Genoa | Reverberi A.P.,University of Genoa | Fabiano B.,University of Genoa
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2013

In this paper, after discussing QRA uncertainties connected to consequence modeling (release rates, evaporation, and dispersion), we consider an hazardous release of hydrochloric acid due to a loss of containment of a tank truck. Following the source term characterization, we applied widely used integral approaches, providing modeling for the combination of all physical phenomena involved after the release. The applicative phase of this work, representing its main appeal, is the validation of the simulation results against field data sets in the near field, directly collected during emergency response activities. More advanced modeling can be performed by a computational fluid dynamics method (CFD) to solve the Navier-Stokes equations, together with specific model equations. Quantitative conclusions are drawn about the cross-check validation performed. The comparison based on experimental data evidences the ability and limitations of the adopted models in estimating the actual post-release gas behavior, as well as the implications for hazard predictions that support decision makers in emergency planning and response. Copyright © 2013, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

Tomozeiu R.,ARPA SIMC | Agrillo G.,ARPAL | Cacciamani C.,ARPA SIMC | Pavan V.,ARPA SIMC
Natural Hazards | Year: 2014

Future changes of seasonal minimum and maximum temperature over Northern Italy are assessed for the periods 2021-2050 and 2070-2099 against 1961-1990. A statistical downscaling technique, applied to the ENSEMBLES-Stream1 and CIRCE global simulations (A1B scenario), is used to reach this objective. The statistical scheme consists of a multivariate regression based on Canonical Correlation Analysis. The set-up of the statistical scheme is done using large-scale fields (predictors) derived from ERA40 reanalysis and seasonal mean minimum and maximum temperature (predictands) derived from observational data at around 75 stations, distributed over Northern Italy, over the period 1960-2002. A similar technique is also applied to the number of frost days and ice days at a reduced number of stations in order to construct projections on change of the selected extreme temperature indices for the two future periods. The evaluation of future projections for these extreme indices is relevant due to its impacts on transports, health, and agriculture. The downscaling scheme constructed using observed data is then applied to large-scale fields simulated by global models (A1B scenario), in order to construct scenarios on future change of seasonal temperature, mean and extreme indices, at local scale. The significance of changes is tested from the statistical point of view. The results show that significant increases could be expected to occur under scenario conditions in both minimum and maximum temperature, associated with a decrease in the number of frost and ice days in both periods and more intense to the end of the century. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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