University Of Tasmania

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Spatial and temporal allocation of ship exhaust emissions in Australian coastal waters using AIS data: Analysis and treatment of data gaps

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 16:05 authored by Goldsworthy, BL
Ship exhaust emissions need to be allocated accurately in both space and time in order to examine many of the associated impacts, including on air quality and health. Data on ship activity from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) allow ship exhaust emissions to be calculated with fine spatial and temporal resolution. However, there are spatial gaps in the coverage afforded by the coastal network of ground stations that are used to collect the AIS data. This paper focuses on the problem of allocating emissions to the coastal gap regions. Allocating emissions to these regions involves generating interpolated ship tracks that both span the gaps and avoid coming too close to land. In most cases, a simple shortest path or straight line interpolation produces tracks that do not overlap or come too close to land. Where the simple method does not produce acceptable results, vessel tracks are steered around land on shortest available paths using a combination of visibility graphs and Dijkstra's algorithm. A geographical cluster analysis is first used to identify the boundary regions of the data gaps. The properties of the data gaps are summarised in terms of the length, duration and speed of the spanning tracks. The interpolation methods are used to improve the spatial distribution of emissions. It is also shown that emissions in the gap regions can contribute substantially to the total ship exhaust emissions in close proximity to highly populated areas.


Publication title

Atmospheric Environment








Australian Maritime College


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2017 Elsevier

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Management of gaseous waste from transport activities (excl. greenhouse gases)