Special Issue "Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. M. Dolores Esteban
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Guest Editor
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). Dept. Ingeniería Civil: Hidráulica, Energía y Medio Ambiente. C/ Profesor Aranguren, CP 28040, Madrid, Spain
Interests: marine renewable energy; offshore wind; wave energy; maritime engineering; coastal engineering; offshore engineering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. José-Santos López-Gutiérrez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). Dept Ingeniería Civil: Hidráulica, Energía y Medio Ambiente. C/ Profesor Aranguren, CP 28040, Madrid, Spain
Interests: marine renewable energy; offshore wind; wave energy; maritime engineering; coastal engineering; offshore engineering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Vicente Negro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). Dept Ingeniería Civil: Hidráulica, Energía y Medio Ambiente. C/ Profesor Aranguren, CP 28040, Madrid, Spain
Interests: marine renewable energy; offshore wind; wave energy; maritime engineering; coastal engineering; offshore engineering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. José Marcos Ortega
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alicante, P.O. Box 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
Interests: sustainable construction and building materials; new supplementary cementitious materials; performance of eco-friendly materials and structures exposed to real hardening environments and non-optimum exposure conditions; microstructure; durability; mechanical properties; degradation of materials for marine structures; nondestructive characterization; sustainability assessment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Oceans and coastal areas are essential in our lifes from different point of view: social, economic and health. Given the importance of these areas for human life, not only for the present but also for the future, it is necessary to plan future infrastructures, and maintain and adapt to the changes the existing ones. All of this taking into account the sustainability of our planet. A very significant percentage of the world's population lives permanently or enjoys their vacation periods in coastal zones, which makes them very sensitive areas, with a very high economic value and as a focus of adverse effects on public health and ecosystems. Therefore, it is considered very relevant and of great interest to launch this Special Issue to cover any aspects related to the vulnerability of coastal systems and their inhabitants (water pollution, coastal flooding, climate change, overpopulation, urban planning, waste water, plastics at sea, effects on ecosystems, etc.), as well as the use of ocean resources (fisheries, energy, tourism areas, etc.). Papers related to these or similar topics are welcome to this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. M. Dolores Esteban
Prof. Dr. José-Santos López-Gutiérrez
Prof. Dr. Vicente Negro
Prof. Dr. José Marcos Ortega
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Coastal areas
  • public health
  • ecosistems vulnerability
  • climate change
  • fisheries
  • energy
  • tourism
  • water pollution
  • coastal floodind
  • waste water management

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Formal and Informal Spatial Coastal Area Planning Process in Baltic Sea Region
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094895 - 04 May 2021
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Many shared views of both scholars and practitioners reflect spatial planning as a place-creating process that must be understood from a multi-level perspective. Formal and informal planning modes have variations in planning practices in different countries. In this study, we aimed to evaluate [...] Read more.
Many shared views of both scholars and practitioners reflect spatial planning as a place-creating process that must be understood from a multi-level perspective. Formal and informal planning modes have variations in planning practices in different countries. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the interaction of formal and informal spatial planning in the frame of the spatial planning system in the Baltic Sea region. We were searching to highlight the involvement possibilities of territorial communities in the spatial planning process around the Baltic Sea region, focusing on coastal areas and their specific features in Latvia, Estonia, the Åland Islands of Finland, and Sweden. Involved experts expressed views based on a pre-developed model to identify how institutionalized formal spatial planning relates with informal interventions. This allowed the development and proposal of a model for coastal area spatial planning and implementation. We concluded that in the spatial planning approach, the governance works differently in different countries, and coastal area spatial planning differs from regular spatial planning. The information base is sufficient to initiate spatial planning at the municipal level, but municipalities should be more active, involving territorial communities in the planning, implementation, and control of municipal spatial planning, as this ensures a greater interest in the use of planning outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
A GIS-Based Artificial Neural Network Model for Flood Susceptibility Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031072 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 618
Abstract
This article presents a geographic information system (GIS)-based artificial neural network (GANN) model for flood susceptibility assessment of Keelung City, Taiwan. Various factors, including elevation, slope angle, slope aspect, flow accumulation, flow direction, topographic wetness index (TWI), drainage density, rainfall, and normalized difference [...] Read more.
This article presents a geographic information system (GIS)-based artificial neural network (GANN) model for flood susceptibility assessment of Keelung City, Taiwan. Various factors, including elevation, slope angle, slope aspect, flow accumulation, flow direction, topographic wetness index (TWI), drainage density, rainfall, and normalized difference vegetation index, were generated using a digital elevation model and LANDSAT 8 imagery. Historical flood data from 2015 to 2019, including 307 flood events, were adopted for a comparison of flood susceptibility. Using these factors, the GANN model, based on the back-propagation neural network (BPNN), was employed to provide flood susceptibility. The validation results indicate that a satisfactory result, with a correlation coefficient of 0.814, was obtained. A comparison of the GANN model with those from the SOBEK model was conducted. The comparative results demonstrated that the proposed method can provide good accuracy in predicting flood susceptibility. The results of flood susceptibility are categorized into five classes: Very low, low, moderate, high, and very high, with coverage areas of 60.5%, 27.4%, 8.6%, 2.5%, and 1%, respectively. The results demonstrate that nearly 3.5% of the study area, including the core district of the city and an exceedingly populated area including the financial center of the city, can be categorized as high to very high flood susceptibility zones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Community-Based Portable Reefs to Promote Mangrove Vegetation Growth: Bridging between Ecological and Engineering Principles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020590 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 886
Abstract
Despite all efforts and massive investments, the restoration of mangroves has not always been successful. One critical reason for this failure is the vulnerability of young mangroves, which cannot grow because of hydrodynamic disturbances in the shallow coastal water. For a comprehensive study [...] Read more.
Despite all efforts and massive investments, the restoration of mangroves has not always been successful. One critical reason for this failure is the vulnerability of young mangroves, which cannot grow because of hydrodynamic disturbances in the shallow coastal water. For a comprehensive study bridging ecological and engineering principles, a portable community-based reef is proposed to shield mangroves from waves during the early stages of their growth. A series of field observations were conducted on Amami Oshima Island (Japan), to observe the growth of young mangroves and their survival rate under moderate wave conditions. The evolution of young mangroves was also observed in the laboratory under a controlled indoor environment. At the research site, it was confirmed that, after six months of germination, young mangroves could withstand normal high waves. Laboratory-grown plants were lower in height and had fewer leaves compared with the native mangroves on Amami. Based on these results, an economical reef system was designed. For this purpose, the Ahrens formula for the design of a low-crested reef breakwater was revisited. The results showed that a 50-cm-high reef constructed with 15-kg stones can protect mangroves that are a few months old and effectively promote early mangrove growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Wave Energy Assessment at Valencia Gulf and Comparison of Energy Production of Most Suitable Wave Energy Converters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8473; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228473 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Seaports’ energy strategy should rely on the use of renewable energy. Presently, the share of renewable energy used by many of the ports worldwide is negligible. Some initiatives are in the process of implementation to produce some of the energy used by the [...] Read more.
Seaports’ energy strategy should rely on the use of renewable energy. Presently, the share of renewable energy used by many of the ports worldwide is negligible. Some initiatives are in the process of implementation to produce some of the energy used by the Port of Valencia, one the largest ports in the Mediterranean Basin. Among these initiatives, a photovoltaic plant with an installed capacity of 5.5 MW is under a tendering process and the assessment studies for the deployment of three to five windmills are close to being finished. However, this is not enough to make it a “zero emissions port” as some of the energy demand would still be covered by fossil fuels. Therefore, we should consider clean alternative energy sources. This article analyses the wave energy resources in the surroundings of the Port of Valencia using a 7-year series of data obtained from numerical modelling (forecast). The spatial distribution of wave power is analysed using data from 3 SIMAR points at Valencia Bay and is compared to the data obtained by the Valencia Buoy I (removed in 2005). The obtained results are used to estimate the power matrices and the average energy output of two wave energy converters suitable to be integrated into the port’s infrastructure. Finally, the wave energy converters’ production is compared to the average amount of energy that is forecast to be obtained from other renewable sources such as solar and wind. Due to the nature of the Gulf’s wave climate (mostly low waves), the main conclusion is that the energy obtainable from the waves in the Valencia Gulf will be in correlation with such climate. However, when dealing with great energy consumers every source of production is worthwhile and further research is needed to optimize the production of energy from renewable sources and its use in an industrial environment such as ports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Subsystem Hazard Analysis on an Offshore Waste Disposal Facility
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7755; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217755 - 23 Oct 2020
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Offshore waste disposal facilities are unique marine infrastructures that exist only in a few countries. Although the existing facilities in Japan and Singapore have been successfully operated in general, there have been no investigations on the probable hazards they pose on the environment. [...] Read more.
Offshore waste disposal facilities are unique marine infrastructures that exist only in a few countries. Although the existing facilities in Japan and Singapore have been successfully operated in general, there have been no investigations on the probable hazards they pose on the environment. Considering this, conceivable hazards were identified for an offshore waste disposal facility that has recently been proposed in Korea. The causes and consequences of each of the identified hazards were analyzed to seek countermeasures for reducing the environmental impact in advance. Hazards of waste disposal facilities can be classified according to their design, construction, maintenance, operation, and site utilization. For these areas, except for site utilization, subsystem hazard analysis was performed. In the initial assessment, seven elements were found to be in the extreme risk zone, 30 were in the high-risk zone, and six were in the moderate-risk zone. After applying the alternative mitigation methods, the final risk assessment resulted in 27 moderate-risk and 16 low-risk elements. Therefore, it was confirmed that the potential risks of the proposed offshore waste disposal facility were within acceptable ranges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Carbon Footprint of a Port Infrastructure from a Life Cycle Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7414; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207414 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 525
Abstract
One of the most important consequences caused by the constant development of human activity is the uncontrolled generation of greenhouse gases (GHG). The main gases (CO2, CH4, and N2O) are illustrated by the carbon footprint. To determine [...] Read more.
One of the most important consequences caused by the constant development of human activity is the uncontrolled generation of greenhouse gases (GHG). The main gases (CO2, CH4, and N2O) are illustrated by the carbon footprint. To determine the impact of port infrastructures, a Life Cycle Assessment approach is applied that considers construction and maintenance. A case study of a port infrastructure in Spain is analyzed. Main results reflect the continuous emission of GHG throughout the useful life of the infrastructure (25 years). Both machinery (85%) and materials (15%) are key elements influencing the obtained results (117,000 Tm CO2e). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Transparency of Financial Reporting on Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowances: The Influence of Regulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 893; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030893 - 31 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 862
Abstract
This study focuses on the transparency of financial reporting on emission allowances (EA) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). In particular, the different accounting treatments adopted by standard setters and professionals were analyzed to evaluate [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the transparency of financial reporting on emission allowances (EA) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). In particular, the different accounting treatments adopted by standard setters and professionals were analyzed to evaluate the influence of regulation in the transparency of financial reporting on EA and GHG emissions. Based on a sample of 85 companies registered with the Portuguese, Spanish, and French National Plans of Allocation (NPAs), data collected from the annual reports were analyzed for the 2008–2014 period. The results were obtained based on descriptive, logistic regressions and panel data statistical techniques, and they show that better levels of transparency of financial reporting on EA and GHG emissions are conditioned by a variety of accounting policies, which compromises the comparability of the financial information. The adoption of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) standards set lead to a greater dispersion in the choice of the accounting approach and a higher probability of not disclosing any information, as well as adopting off-balance sheet policies. Therefore, the regulatory factor is a determinant of the level of transparency of financial reporting on EA and GHG emissions, contributing to reduce strategies of omission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
A Software for Calculating the Economic Aspects of Floating Offshore Renewable Energies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010218 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1022
Abstract
The aim of this work is to develop a software to calculate the economic parameters so as to determine the feasibility of a floating offshore renewable farm in a selected location. The software can calculate the economic parameters of several types of offshore [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to develop a software to calculate the economic parameters so as to determine the feasibility of a floating offshore renewable farm in a selected location. The software can calculate the economic parameters of several types of offshore renewable energies, as follows: one renewable energy (floating offshore wind—WindFloat, tension leg platform (TLP), and spar; floating wave energy—Pelamis and AquaBuoy), hybrid offshore wind and wave systems (Wave Dragon and W2Power), and combined offshore wind and waves with different systems (independent arrays, peripherally distributed arrays, uniformly distributed arrays, and non-uniformly distributed arrays). The user can select several inputs, such as the location, configuration of the farm, type of floating offshore platform, type of power of the farm, life-cycle of the farm, electric tariff, capital cost, corporate tax, steel cost, percentage of financing, or interest and capacity of the shipyard. The case study is focused on the Galicia region (NW of Spain). The results indicate the economic feasibility of a farm of floating offshore renewable energy in a particular location in terms of its costs, levelized cost of energy (LCOE), internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), and discounted pay-back period. The tool allows for establishing conclusions about the dependence of the offshore wind resource parameters, the main distances (farm–shore, farm–shipyard, and farm–port), the parameters of the waves, and the bathymetry of the area selected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Economic Aspects of a Concrete Floating Offshore Wind Platform in the Atlantic Arc of Europe
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214122 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 929
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to examine the economic aspects of a concrete offshore wind floating platform in the Atlantic Arc of Europe (Portugal and Spain). The life-cycle cost of a concrete floating offshore wind platform is considered to calculate the main [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to examine the economic aspects of a concrete offshore wind floating platform in the Atlantic Arc of Europe (Portugal and Spain). The life-cycle cost of a concrete floating offshore wind platform is considered to calculate the main economic parameters that will define the economic feasibility of the offshore wind farm. The case of study is the concrete floating offshore wind platform Telwind®, a spar platform with a revolutionary way of installing using a self-erecting telescopic tower of the wind turbine. In addition, the study analyses thirteen locations in Spain and twenty in Portugal, including the Atlantic islands of both countries. Results indicate that the economically feasible location to install a concrete offshore wind farm composed of concrete platforms is the Canary Islands (Spain) and Flores (Portugal). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review on Environmental and Social Impacts of Thermal Gradient and Tidal Currents Energy Conversion and Application to the Case of Chiapas, Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7791; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217791 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
Despite the proved potential to harness ocean energy off the Mexican coast, one of the main aspects that have restrained the development of this industry is the lack of information regarding the environmental and social impacts of the devices and plants. Under this [...] Read more.
Despite the proved potential to harness ocean energy off the Mexican coast, one of the main aspects that have restrained the development of this industry is the lack of information regarding the environmental and social impacts of the devices and plants. Under this premise, a review of literature that could help identifying the potential repercussions of energy plants on those fields was performed. The available studies carried out around the world show a clear tendency to use indicators to assess impacts specifically related to the source of energy to be converted. The information gathered was used to address the foreseeable impacts on a hypothetical case regarding the deployment of an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant off the Chiapas coast in Mexico. From the review it was found that for OTEC plants, the most important aspect to be considered is the discharge plume volume and its physicochemical composition, which can lead to the proliferation of harmful algal blooms. Regarding the case study, it is interesting to note that although the environmental impacts need to be mitigated and monitored, they can be somehow alleviated considering the potential social benefits of the energy industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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Open AccessReview
Life Cycle Assessment on Wave and Tidal Energy Systems: A Review of Current Methodological Practice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1604; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051604 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1228
Abstract
Recent decades have witnessed wave and tidal energy technology receiving considerable attention because of their low carbon emissions during electricity production. However, indirect emissions from their entire life cycle should not be ignored. Therefore, life cycle assessment (LCA) has been widely applied as [...] Read more.
Recent decades have witnessed wave and tidal energy technology receiving considerable attention because of their low carbon emissions during electricity production. However, indirect emissions from their entire life cycle should not be ignored. Therefore, life cycle assessment (LCA) has been widely applied as a useful approach to systematically evaluate the environmental performance of wave and tidal energy technologies. This study reviews recent LCA studies on wave and tidal energy systems for stakeholders to understand current status of methodological practice and associated inherent limitations and reveal future research needs for application of LCA on wave and tidal technologies. The conformance of the selected LCAs to ISO 14040 (2006) and 14044 (2006) are critically analyzed in strict accordance with the ISO stepwise methodologies, namely, goal and scope definition, life cycle inventory (LCI) analysis, as well as life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). Our systematically screening of these studies indicates that few of the selected studies are of strict conformance with ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, which makes the results unreliable and thus further reduces the confidence of interested stakeholders. Further, our review indicates that current LCA practice on wave and tidal energies is lacking consideration of temporal variations, which should be addressed in future research, as it causes inaccuracy and uncertainties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability in Maritime Infrastructures)
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