By: Mildred Esther Pacheco Hernández - Dimar Colombia. Alternate Member of Red MAMLa

The ports that operate in navigable channels on rivers, unlike the purely maritime ones, require actions that involve additional technological, human and physical resources due to the sequential alteration caused by river fluctuations, which affect the current, flow, sedimentation and therefore the depth, sometimes affecting navigability in general.

The fundamental role played by these resources derives in the research for the collection, compilation and analysis of the data and concludes in a well-founded contribution for the taking of particular decisions in each maritime/river port operation, for whose veracity, these are required of specialized character, routing the results towards the development of operations with the maximum possible security.

Information on hydrological conditions (shore surface current velocity variables), meteorological and oceanographic conditions forecasts, water level forecasts (at strategic points), current velocities (at specific points), among others, are key studies in this type of ports and, together with maintenance dredging, allow vessel access, reducing risks.

The port infrastructure, on the other hand, requires maintaining specific conditions according to its location within the berthing sectors, since within the same river there are different types of beds, sectors more prone to sedimentation, among others, being diverse the requirements in them, for example, the performance of cleaning or dredging within its concessioned maneuvering area, the number and types of tugboats to be used according to maneuvering and vessel conditions, berthing time, etc.

Among the equipment used in these port areas are the ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), the Odom Digitar Pro (sound velocity profilers), the Echo sounder (for bathymetry), sensors for water level forecasts, weather stations (wind, temperature, precipitation, speed measurements), oceanographic buoys (salinity, wave height levels, temperature) and dredges used to maintain depths in accordance with the depths of the ship type in the navigable channel, all of which are used to decide on suitable times for the arrival of vessels, in accordance with the safety objectives of the vessel, the seafarers and the port infrastructure.

In this sense, the resources for research, compilation and analysis of the state of the body of water are far from those needed in ports on bays or maritime waters, therefore, its particularity to ensure a safe navigation is supported by an inter-institutional work between authorities, unions, entities and economic sectors, aiming with it from its latitude, to a sustainable development facilitating trade through the transit of vessels required.