Potentially Polluting Shipwrecks
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The sinking of thousands of ships during the Pacific Theater of World War II has blanketed the South Pacific region. These potentially polluting wrecks present a major environmental danger to the region in the form of oil spills and unexploded ordnance. As a major center of biological diversity, including World Heritage sites, the continued deterioration of these wrecks could destroy the rich marine life in these areas. This study provides geospatial analysis of these wrecks, based on data from the United States and Imperial Japanese Navy. Wrecks have been mapped within ESRI GIS software and a variety of spatial and data analyses have been performed to address questions of environmental and geopolitical concern. A risk index has been developed to prioritize the most dangerous vessels. This index accounts for both characteristics of the ship, as well as the surrounding environment. Further, spatial tools have been designed to offer resource managers a basic method to predict sensitive ecosystems at risk from a wreck-based oil spill. For the first time, wreck data will be available for conservation groups and researchers to conduct their own risk planning. Enquiries are welcome by the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, subject line Wreck Paper.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment