Document Type : Original Article
Department of Environment, Faculty of Marine Science and Technology, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Physical Oceanography, Faculty of Marine Science and Technology, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
Background: Oil spills caused by releasing liquid petroleum can spread on the coastal strip and affect coastal ecosystems, causing severe damage to the coastline environment and crisis in local communities. This study aimed to identify and map the environmentally sensitive areas of the coastal strip of Guilan Province, Iran, to oil spills using the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI).
Methods: The data required for the present study were collected through field studies, the GPS device, topographic maps of 1.25000 of the National Mapping Organization, maps of protected areas of the Environmental Protection Organization, satellite images, data of Guilan Province Industry, Mine and Trade Organization, and other relevant agencies. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) method and ESI were used to determine the sensitivity of the coastal strip of Guilan Province to oil spills. Moreover, to determine the weights of the criteria studied in the NOAA method, the analytic hierarchy process was used.
Results: The final results of the study of the environmental sensitivity of the coastal strip of Guilan Province to oil spills showed that 21.15%, 39.66%, and 39.19% of the coastal strip have low, medium, and high sensitivity, respectively.
Conclusion: High sensitivity mainly was related to the eastern part of the coast, located at the banks of estuaries of current rivers. Low sensitivity was also located along the seafront on fine- to medium-grained sand beaches, where less damaged in the event of oil spill pollution.