Predicting the movement of unexploded ordnance in the North Sea
If their locations are not precisely known, the presence of unexploded wartime ordnance in the sea can present an obvious hazard, such as during the construction of offshore grid connections, and, in particular, during the laying of cables to bring offshore wind energy to shore. HR Wallingford has been using its Fast Flow Facility to help TenneT and the University of Rostock to obtain data that will help to predict the movement of unexploded ordnance in the North Sea.
Potential sites for offshore cable routes and platform locations undergo a dedicated unexploded ordnance (UXO) survey, often followed by the identification and disposal of debris and, in a few cases, of UXO prior to installation. While these surveys allow UXO locations to be pinpointed on a particular date, the action of currents and waves may mean that the UXO migrate over time, making it necessary to repeat these UXO measures, for example in the case of a cable repair.
The University of Rostock in Germany has developed a model of unexploded ordnance movement for which it has already conducted small-scale modelling at the University. Now, with co-funding from TenneT, a leading European electricity transmission system operator (TSO) that supplies electricity to 41 million end-users in the Netherlands and Germany, this new project is seeking to generate large-scale data to better inform and validate this model.