Research of Integrated Marine Environment Information Support and Forecast System

Research content

This chapter introduces operational system software of marine environment support for major offshore ports and waterways, which integrates the forecast system of oil spill, search and rescue and tide-bound water-level forecasting, has coupling operation on large cluster computer systems, and takes Windows as the display platform. When the operational forecast is conducted, the oil-spill trajectory and the movement path of ships and personnel on the sea are displayed in a visualized way based on the forecast results of the current field and wind field, the oil spill module and drift module. An atmosphere module and marine-wave module of the coupled forecast system provide visualized images of and statistics on the wind-field forecast with WRF and relevant wave field of the research area; forecast module of tide-bound water-level provides tide-bound water-level forecasts of various ports and real-time reports of dynamic tide levels on the basis of the real-time forecast system of positive and negative water levels, astronomic tide forecasting and storm surge warning; the sediment transport module offers forecasts on sediment transport and deposition in the port areas; the terminal data generated by the forecast system is then analyzed with various numerical and mathematical analysis technologies and Web technology. Information release software with such functions as mapping, inquiry, statistics, generating reports and printing developed in the .net environment and on the GIS software platform provides real-time release and download service of forecasting and warning information and provide warning, support and decision-making support service for port and shipping to port administration and the Maritime Safety Administration of Ministry of Transport, in order to mitigate the uncertainty in decision-making.

Purpose of the research

Port is the intersection and hub of water and land transportation and the natural interface connecting inland hinterland with marine transport. The reply of the Overall Plan for the Comprehensive Supporting Reform

Experiment at the Binhai New Area in Tianjin by the State Council, the relocation of Shougang Group into the coastal area of Caofeidian, Tangshan, Hebei and the discovery of the Jidong Nanpu oil field, a large oil field with an oil reserve of 1 billion tons in the area surrounding the Caofeidian district of Jingtang Port provide dramatic impetus for the social and economic development of the Bohai Economic Rim and require that the shipping capability of this region be improved. As the largest comprehensive port in north China, Tianjin Port is located in the silt coast in the Bohai Gulf. Under the wind and tide effects, a large volume of silt sediment forms in the port and waterway [118, 119, 120]. Under systematic sediment treatment efforts launched since the end of the 20th century, Tianjin Port sees an improvement in waterway ability to 150,000 tons and has become the largest artificial deepwater port in the world. Four 250,000-ton ore terminals, one crude oil terminal, four 50,000- to 100,000-ton coal terminals and one 100,000-ton LNG terminal, North China Crude Oil Reserve Base with an oil reserve of 10,000,000 tons, the 10,000,000- ton oil refining and 1,000,000 ethylene refining integrated project and a large thermal power plant with a capability of 4,600,000 KW will be built in 2010 at the Caofeidian Port Area, Jingtang Port, which is under construction. Binhai New Area in Tianjin and its surrounding area are becoming a new growth pole in the Bohai Economic Rim and the demonstration area for scientific development in China with the most promising future.

The purposes of the research are: to conduct field survey on the sediment transport during the spring and neap tide and storm period in the Tianjin and Yangshan Port areas on the basis of stereoscopic monitoring systems of marine dynamic environments in Bohai Gulf, Yangtze River Estuary and Hangzhou Bay so as to basically master the information on sediment concentration and distribution at both entrance and exits at Tianjin Port and Yangshan Port; to survey and understand the basic marine-current information to provide basic data for establishment of numerical model; to set up an efficient operational numerical forecast model of wind field and marine wave on offshore sea surface and develop a set of high-precision high-resolution 3-D wind, wave and current coupling systems and a real-time tide-level numerical forecasting system so as to provide support for the operational service system of the marine environment and apply it at Tianjin Port and Yangshan Port for demonstration.

Hence, developing a marine environment support and forecasting system for port and shipping with tide-bound water-level and real-time tide-level report technology as the existing stereoscopic monitoring system of marine dynamic environment includes great application value in port and shipping safety support, maritime, emergency response, marine oil and gas resources development, marine engineering and marine scientific research. Long-term purpose of the system is to provide high-precision wind-wave-current-water level-integrated marine environment forecast information and decision-making support service for the maritime safety administrations, port management department and navigation departments, environmental protection and disaster prevention and relief departments, as well as local oceanic administrations (see Figure 6.1).

Technical roadmap and construction objective of marine environment information support and forecast system

FIGURE 6.1: Technical roadmap and construction objective of marine environment information support and forecast system

Steps of the research

The marine environment information support and forecast system for ports and shipping is established after integrating the high-precision high-resolution 3-D wind-wave-current numerical forecast subsystem on the basis of fully collecting and organizing relevant data and achieving long-term effective high- precision operational forecasts of tide-bound water levels and real-time reports of dynamic tide levels at ports and in waterways.

Specific steps include:

  • 1) Integrate major marine environment elements in offshore areas to build a real-time dynamic data database system of marine environment elements.
  • 2) Develop a 3-D numerical forecast subsystem for wind, wave and current with high precision and resolution.
  • 3) Build a real-time tide-level report system and an operational tide-bound water-level forecast system for waterways at Tianjin Port and Yangshan Port.

System design

Design work of the marine environment information support and forecast system for ports and shipping is accomplished by making adequate demand analyses, taking into consideration software and hardware conditions, information service requirements, system application prospects, system compatibility and scalability and other factors.

System architecture design

Logical architecture design of the system is a process of coarse-to-fine, gradually elaborating and tracing back in due course. The system is divided into a technical layer, data layer, forecast layer, result layer, application service layer and operational function layer according to the analysis of data and application characteristics of the system, different roles of the layers in the architecture design of the system and coarseness. Logistic layer structure of the system is shown in Figure 6.2.

1) Technical layer

The system development is based on the following technologies: Java tech- nology. Linux technology, parallel computing technology, database technology. 3S technology and 3-D virtual tcclmology.

2) Data layer

Multi-source data serve as the basis for information service of the system. The project requires support in historical information/data, actual observation data, real-time observation data, model data and geographic data. The data layer provides initial information for the forecast layer and information service for operational function layer.

3) Forecast layer

The forecast model is the core of the forecast layer. Forecast content includes wind field, wave, current, water level and tide-bound water level. The WRF model is adopted for wind field forecast; the SWAN model is adopted for wave forecast; the FVCOM model is adopted for current and water-level forecasting; a tide-bound water-level forecasting method combining a statistical

System architecture design

FIGURE 6.2: System architecture design

model and dynamic model, which possess independent intellectual property, is adopted for tide-bound water-level forecasting.

4) Result layer

The result layer, which integrates the forecast result produced by the forecast layer, is the primary product of system information service.

5) Application-service layer

The application-service layer is critical to system information service. The system deals with and processes primary products and information provided by data layer according to the user’s demand and produces final products.

6) Operational function layer

The operational function layer is a customer service-oriented terminal. Through the man-machine interaction with the system, the user can send instruction to the system, which provides results feedback to the user in various means according to the instruction.

System environment design

High-performance computing cluster

The wind-wave-current numerical forecast system is high-demanding in computing performance of the equipment and is designed to operate on high- performance computing clusters or on servers and other platforms. The platform shall include at least 24 computing cores and be able to make wind, wave and current numerical forecasting and computing for the future 48 hours within 3 to 5 hours. A Linux operation system such as Redhat-Linux and SuSE-Linux with steady operation performance and achieving failure-free operation for more than 2000 hours is adopted.

The wind, wave and current numerical forecast system adopts C programming language, Fortran77/90, Linux/UNIX Shell script, javascipt language, htrnl language and Java language as the assistant development tools.

Client environment

Information services includes such operational functions as wind-field information service, wave information service, current information service and tide- bound water-level information services; information services are deployed on the client computer.

Hardware requirement of the system: single or multi-core CPU with a CPU clock speed of 2 GHz and above. Memory capacity of 2 GB and above. High- performance discrete graphics card with a video memory of 1 GB and above. Display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 and above. Software requirement: Windows series operating system; support Windows XP and Windows 7. Java operating environment : jre 1.6 version.

Data server

System data, basic wind, wave and current data, basic geographic data and model data, wind, wave and current computing results, as well as intermediate products are stored in the data server.

The data server has a storage capacity of 10 ТВ, with 5 ТВ for data and result storage and another 5 ТВ for data synchronous backup.

The data server provides application server function except for data storage. It deals with quick data retrieval, intermediate results production, and dynamic transformation of data into GIS data etc. under the control of an application-service module.

Network environment

A marine environment information support and forecast system for ports and shipping, which is designed to operate in a LAN or private network environment integrates high-performance computing cluster, data server (application server) and client users (multiple).

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