Abstract

After the concession of marine blocks for exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the last decade, oil industries activities became to exert greater pressure on the marine and coastal environments of Brazil. The BM-J-2 block is located about 20 km away from the coast of Una, Canavieiras and Belmonte municipalities in the Southern region of Bahia State. This region is constituted by important coastal marine ecosystems, some of them protected by law. This context makes this area mentioned sensitive to impacts from potential oil spill accidents. This work aims to map the environmental sensitivity to oil spills, using remote sensing and in situ data. Therefore, the production of maps representing littoral sensitivity index (LSI) in different hydrodynamics modeling scenarios is important for the implementation of contingency and emergency plans. Moreover, regional studies of geomorphology, land cover and land use were also used to construct the LSI charts. Those revealed different levels of environmental sensitivity to oil spill LSI ranging from 1 (lowest sensitive) to LSI 10, depending on the hydrodynamic conditions. This study shows the importance of considering the spatial and seasonal variability of hydrological, oceanographic and atmospheric processes in order to understand of environmental sensitivity of the coastal ecosystems.

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