Marine pollution bulletin
Abstract Shipwrecks on the sea floor around the world may contain hazardous substances that can cause harm to the marine environment. Today there are no comprehensive methods for environmental risk assessment of shipwrecks, and thus there is poor support for decision-making on prioritization of mitigation measures. The purpose of this study was to develop a tool for quantitative risk estimation of potentially polluting shipwrecks, and in particular an estimation of the annual probability of hazardous substance discharge. The assessment of the probability of discharge is performed using fault tree analysis, facilitating quantification of the probability with respect to a set of identified hazardous events. This approach enables a structured assessment providing transparent uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. The model facilitates quantification of risk, quantification of the uncertainties in the risk calculation and identification of parameters to be investigated further in order to obtain a more reliable risk calculation.