LAGRANGIAN TRANSPORT OF MARINE LITTER AND MICROPLASTICS IN COASTAL WATERS: STRUCTURES OF TRANSPORT AND CONNECTIVITY PATTERNS
Emilio Hernández-García, Cristóbal López
Partners: IMEDEA, AZTI
Start date: Sept. 1, 2022
End date: Aug. 31, 2026
The aim of this project is to further understand the role of oceanic transport in marine litter (microplastics and meso/macrolitter) dispersion and accumulation areas in the sea surface, along the water column and over the seafloor. With special emphasis on coastal zones and in the range of scales from 1 m to 10 km, where the vertical motions by marine currents play a relevant role. Focusing on the distribution of marine litter by ocean currents, we propose an approach that combines ocean-current structures, oceanographic campaigns, and new Lagrangian tools from complex systems to characterize marine connectivity and mixing properties in coastal waters. We will analyze the different spatial scales and connectivity structures that could drive the dispersion or accumulation of marine litter items throughout the domain.