FIG Peer Review Journal


Risk and Vulnerability Analysis in the Gulf of Finland (4195)

Raphael Legouge (France), Rangsima Sunila, Kirsi Virrantaus and Hannes Seppänen (Finland)
Mr. Hannes Seppänen
Helsinki University of Technology
P.O. Box 1200
Corresponding author Mr. Hannes Seppänen (email: hannes.seppanen[at], tel.: + 358 9 4515942)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2010-01-14
Received 2009-11-19 / Accepted 2010-01-14
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Congress 2010 in Sydney, Australia and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Congress 2010
ISBN 978-87-90907-87-7 ISSN 2308-3441


In 1994, the biggest catastrophe ever in the Gulf of Finland caused the deaths of more than eight hundred people in a major shipping accident. This major accident and the increase in the sea traffic between Helsinki and Tallinn, which crosses waterways going into and out of St. Petersburg, led to the study of the risks and vulnerability of shipping traffic in many research studies. In this paper, the authors aim to present risk and vulnerability models in the Gulf of Finland based on data from the Automatic Identification System. The risk model uses the accident probability density and population density model for the analysis, whereas the vulnerability analysis uses data based on the A.I.S. The risk model anticipates the location of future accidents on the basis of accident history information and the probability of an accident occurring. Therefore, it can be used to define the areas where people may be affected by shipping accidents. The vulnerability model can be used to detect ships that cannot be reached by either the rescue units or nearby ships in the traffic flow at the given time. The vulnerability analysis chart can be used to predict the future position of ships in the traffic flow and the capability of the rescue units. The outcome of both analyses is useful information for the coastguard unit, which can assist them in their work, for example, to assist them in setting up patrols for the observation of ships that may be at risk. This study can be taken as a preliminary study for building a real-time coastguard system. Some factors were left out of this study, for instance, the weather conditions and the season. These factors can be added to a subsequent study to improve the quality of the model and produce more realistic results.
Keywords: Risk management; vulnerability analysis; automatic identification system (A.I.S.); shipping accidents; vessel traffic service (V.T.S.)