The role of geo-environmental factors in landscape and visual assessment for shallow-water offshore structures

Bobby Mickovski, Gisele Alves

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
242 Downloads (Pure)


Although the offshore wind power has been harvested for relatively long time, there is a lack of knowledge on the specific geotechnical and planning considerations relevant to construction of wind farms in shallow waters. The aim of this study is to propose a new integrated framework for landscape and visual assessment of shallow offshore developments in the south of Brazil and the north of Scotland. The study sites have contrasting bio-geo-climatic characteristics and, while Scotland is considered to be at the forefront of the offshore wind energy utilization, Brazil has only recently started to show interest in such developments because wind energy is considered as new but promising especially in lake areas. The focus of this study is on the geo-environmental impact assessment for shallow-water wind farms in terms of landscape capacity and vulnerability, with a special focus on the geo-environmental parameters. This study outlines the current practice in the determination of geo-environmental parameters for planning and construction in relation to seascape/landscape assessment, while highlighting the gaps in knowledge and consideration of critical geotechnical information within a sustainability framework. A seascape capacity assessment is proposed for the two sites, where the geotechnical parameters are determined in conjunction with economic, societal, and environmental factors through a desk study, site survey and preliminary ground investigations. Additionally, construction impact assessment, risk assessment and monitoring of the geo-environmental variables are proposed as tools for enhancing the engagement with the planning authorities and affected communities. The future refinements and enhancements of this framework will depend on the efforts of the geotechnical engineering community to persuade the planning decision makers, affected communities, and the clients of the importance of the life cycle geo-environmental parametrization for the sustainability of the project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st Vietnam Symposium on Advances in Offshore Engineering: Energy and Geotechnics
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9789811323065
ISBN (Print)9789811323058, 9789811347634
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


  • wind energy
  • shallow waters
  • sustainability
  • geotechnical engineering
  • landscape capacity
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Energy
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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