Analysis of Wind and Drifter Movement Parameters in Terms of Navigation Safety: The Example of Szczecin Lagoon
Purpose: The article presents a comparative analysis of the drift movement in the water area of Szczecin Lagoon (southern Baltic, Poland) and wind parameters in the examined region for the dry summer season. Design/Methodology/Approach: Experimental tests were conducted to determine the relationship between the drifter movement parameters and wind parameters in Szczecin Lagoon area. A set of surface drifters was designed for the experimental study at the Maritime University of Szczecin. Drifters were custom-made to track surface currents. In situ experiments were performed from the end of June till mid-October 2018. Statistical analysis of directional and linear data allowed to link the directions and speeds of moving drifters with wind parameters recorded in two places, Świnoujscie and Trzebież. Findings: As a result of the conducted research, it was ascertained that the direction and speed of air masses flow are parameters that strongly affect the movement of surface waters of Szczecin Lagoon. A significant correlation was found between the wind direction and the drift direction. The coefficient of surface drift was also specified to determine the relationship between drift speed and wind speed. Originality/value: The presented research is a complete novelty in the area of the Szczecin Lagoon. The results obtained in the study may be beneficial for the maritime administration, which is responsible for the safety of navigation in the studied water area. The analysis can be used for projecting the track of pollutants in water.