Environmental Impact Assessment
Almost all works carried out in the inter-tidal or tidal zones of our estuaries and oceans now require an Environmental Statement (ES) to define the benefits which the developer believes will be derived from the project and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study to support these beliefs. Plans are normally reviewed by an appropriate government department and presented for review at a public enquiry. Studies must therefore be rigorous, detailed and cover an enormous range of varied interests.
This detailed assessment of the costs and benefits results in a complex web of inter-connected studies and CFD forms a vital part of that web. Visualisation of the complexities of the dynamics of the tidal response of an estuary to a new proposal for a oil refinery jetty can be greatly simplified using CFD techniques. The major responses to flow variation throughout the tidal sequence can be illustrated with flow vectors and the fate of accidental spillages can be tracked as simulated plumes.
CFD can be used to explain complex concepts using the computer animation techniques with which most people are familiar from exposure to film and television, making the job of direct communication easier and allowing the EIA to focus on the main elements of the proposals.
CFD data can be integrated with visualisation systems in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and in “fly-though” animations delivered using natural rendering or overlays from mapping data with which local people are familiar.