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Pollution of the Coastal Waters of Closed Seas


Monitoring and Mathematical Models of the Pollution Spread in Urban and River Mouth Water Areas of the Black Sea Coast of Georgia

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-DMT/Dangerous Materials Transportation /Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment
  • PHY-NGD/Fluid Mechanics and Gas Dynamics/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Georgian Technical University, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • University of Iowa / IIHR - Hydroscience & Engineering, USA, IA, Iowa City\nIowa State University of Science and Technology / Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, USA, IA, Ames\nUniversity of Iowa / Department of Civil and Enviromental Engineering, USA, IA, Iowa City

Project summary

In connection with the construction of the Euro-Asian transport corridor the marine transportation of oil, oil products and other cargo, which are potentially hazardous as regards the pollution of the environment, via the Black Sea coast of Georgia will become even more intensive in the very nearest future. In particular, if until recently only the ports of Novorossiysk (Russian Federation) and Batumi on the eastern coast of the Black sea provided oil transportation services by large tankers, now the Supsa oil terminal has already been put into operation in Georgia. This terminal is the end point of the new long-distance Baku-Supsa pipeline with a traffic capacity over 8 million tons of oil per year. Intensive work is being carried out on the expansion of the Batumi and Poti ports, where the ferry berths have already been constructed for the trans-shipment of dry cargo and oil products by rail road. The construction of the large terminal and the oil trans-shipment port with a cargo turnover over 8 million tons per year has been completed in the mouth of the Khobi river. They will attend to tankers whose dead weight is up to 1000 thou. tons. The draft project is being prepared for the construction of a large port in the mouth of the Inguri river with a cargo turnover up to 20 million tons per year. Analogous civil engineering and designing work is being carried out all along the Black sea contour in Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Moreover, there are proposed projects on building bypass deep-water oil pipelines that will run along the sea coastline or across the water area.

It is natural to expect that with the cargo traffic growth, the more so if we take into account frequent shipwrecks in the world ocean as well as railroad and pipeline accidents, the probability of occurrence of accidental pollutions in the sea area itself and from the side of the dry land will grow. Pollutions of the sea area from the side of the dry land are mostly expected in the basins of such closed seas as the Black sea, the shore of which is adjoined by the mountain massifs. Seismic phenomena and landslides intrinsic in these mountains and seasonal mountain river floods may be the cause of grave accidents of the railroad transport or long-distance oil pipe-lines.

The above-said gives us the grounds to assert that in the near future the Caucasian part of the Black sea coast and water area may turn from the “idyllic recreation” region into the ecologically hazardous one. In this context it seems important to give a scientifically justified estimation of expected oil, chemical and biogenic pollutions of the Black sea coastal and water areas, their intensity, concentration variation, spread area, time of occurrence and to indicate the hazardous pollution sites – these are the main practical aims of the proposed project. To achieve these aims it is necessary to carry out the preliminary monitoring and analysis of the existing pollution background, to determine design parameters of geophysical, wave, jet-like and convective motions in the river estuaries and town areas of the Black sea coast of Georgia, also to collect statistical and probabilistic data on shipwrecks, pipeline breaks and railroad transport accidents that had occurred during the transportation of oil across the river basins adjoining the sea.

Permanent or accidental pollutions occurring in a closed sea (in particular, in the Black sea) rapidly spread over the coastline, while the process of disintegration and self-cleaning of hazardous substances proceeds much more slowly as compared with open seas because of the complex bottom relief, the crossing of the coastal contour by river flows, a high degree of dispersion of wind gusts, and a sharply pronounced density and temperature stratification. That is why when calculating the spread of polluting substances in the closed seas it is necessary to give up the finite-difference schemes with a large step and long wave approximations that are usually used for the oceans and open seas.

The main scientific goals of the project are to carry out field observations in order to determine the pollution background, diffusion coefficients, flow and rough sea water parameters in the estuaries and suburban areas of the Black sea coast of Georgia and to create mathematical probability models of the spread of.conservative and nonconservative polluting substances, these models taking into account geophysical, wave, hydrological and other characteristics of the sea coastline.

In conformity with the scientific goals, the project will accomplish three related tasks. The fulfillment of all three tasks will begin nearly simultaneously after the approval of the project.

When fulfilling the first task called “The Monitoring of Pollutions of the Water Medium near the Black Sea Coast of Georgia”, expeditions will be organized at the main ports, resort towns and in the river estuaries to carry out field observations with the aim of determining the background of sea and river water pollution with oil impurities, phenols, microelements, biogenic substances and so on. This task also includes the calculation of vertical and horizontal diffusion coefficients and other physical, chemical and hydrological characteristics of sea water and river inflows. Large-scale pollution spread maps will be prepared for the estuaries of the Inguri, Rioni, Chorokhi rivers and the sea coastline with 10 -20 m isobaths as well as diffusion maps showing the movement of all sorts of pollutants of sea water and river inflows. The results obtained by the fulfillment of this task have independent importance for many branches of economy and for environment protection measures and will also be used for the solution of other theoretical and experimental problems of the project.

The second task called “Mathematical Models of the Spread of Pollutions in the Coastal Zone of the Closed Sea” will be dedicated to the elaboration of refined deterministic and probabilistic mathematical models describing the emergence and diffusion of various impurities in the sea water. Deterministic problems directly related to problems of wave and jet motion hydrodynamics of homogeneous fluids and fluids of different densities will be solved by direct, asymptotic and numerical methods of mathematical physics. The methods of finite and boundary elements, after splitting equations by physical processes and parameters, will be used in the project for the first time. As different from the finite-difference schemes with a large step usually used for open seas, such an approach makes it possible to consider thoroughly (with a step from 5 to 50 m) the influence of the shelf relief on the transfer of impurities by sea streams. Equations of stationary and non-stationary turbulent diffusion of polluting impurities will be solved by numerical, analytic and probabilistic methods. The results of the solution will be demonstrated by the example of the Black sea, indicating the time of transfer, concentration variation and the estuary and suburban water areas captured by polluting impurities. Probabilistic pollution problems will be solved using data on floods in the coastal zones of the world ocean as well as statistics on damages and breaks of urban sewage and rain water drain systems and various kinds of oil trans-shipment facilities, taking into account the work load of the traffic routes via the port of the Black sea coast of Georgia.

The third task called “Experimental Studies of the Action of Waves on the Pollution Spread in the Estuaries” will be dedicated to the verification of some of the results which were obtained by solution of the second (theoretical) task and which cannot be verified in the field conditions. To this end, experimental studies will be carried out using the jet flow generating equipment in the water quality laboratory and in the open-air hydraulic laboratory of Technical University of Georgia (TUG). The latter laboratory will be reconstructed and equipped with a mobile wave generator and measuring instruments. Laboratory experiments will make it possible to model the estuary areas and to study the transfer of polluting substances under the action of waves and river inflows.

The project will be fulfilled by highly skilled scientists and experts of TUG. They had previously worked in the sphere of weapons technologies and participated in many projects dealing with ecological, oil transportation and other problems related to the Black Sea.

The authors of the project have many published scientific papers and monographs on dynamic oceanography, wave hydromechanics, hydraulics of flows of various density. They presented their results at many international congresses and symposia organized by the International Association of Hydraulic Research (IAHR) and other international engineering agencies concerned with oil transportation. Thereby the project meets all the ISTC requirements.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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