The Impact of Sea Level Rise In Santos Harbor (Brazil) For The Next Decades

Paolo Alfredini, Emilia Arasaki, Alessandro Pezzoli

Thursday 2 july 2015

14:05 - 14:20h at Europe 2 (level 0)

Themes: (T) Flood risk management and adaptation, (ST) Flood risk assessment

Parallel session: 12K. Floodrisk - Assessment

Santos Harbor, in São Paulo State Coastline (Brazil), throughputs approximately 15% of Brazilian maritime cargo handling, more than 950 million tons per year, and is the most important marine cargo transfer terminal in the Southern Hemisphere. The growth of the number of large container vessels and the important oil and gas reserves in the deep Offshore Basin of Santos is the economical scenario. It is essential to have an understanding of the main maritime hydrodynamics forcing processes in tidal levels induced by sea extreme events and associated hazards influencing the risks upon vessel operations. Santos Harbor is located in a complex estuarine area, comprising small inland fluvial deltas, with the hydrodynamic behavior forced by tides. It was made an assessment of the Brazilian longer set of tidal data, the Santos Dock Company tidal gauge. The resulting tidal level variability (high tide, mean sea level and low tide) of the last seven decades, from 1940 – 2014, comprising four complete lunar declination periods of 18,61 years, shows a consistent increasing trend, similar to those suggested by the IPCC, reducing wharves free-board. The sea level rise recommendations, guidelines or requirements used by different governments or agencies are provided as examples of the different approaches used around the world. The trends obtained for Santos Harbor were compared to examples of those local practices issued in the last decades by different countries. The high values of the facilities and infrastructures involved make necessary to evaluate the harbor adaptation to mitigate the risks of natural disasters.