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You are here : eLibrary : IAHR World Congress Proceedings : 36th Congress - The Hague (2015) ALL CONTENT : Hydro-environment : Developing a transport model for plastic distribution in the north sea
Developing a transport model for plastic distribution in the north sea
Author : DANA STUPARU(1), MYRA VAN DER MEULEN(1), FRANK KLEISSEN(1), DICK VETHAAK(1,2), GHADA EL SERAFY(1,3)
he rising plastic usage worldwide, the abundance of plastic litter in the sea and ocean has steadily
increased over the last few decades. However, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the occurrence and effects of
plastic litter on the marine environment. This uncertainty is visible both at the level of physical impacts but also with
respect to the adaptation measures to reduce the negative environmental consequences. Aiming for a better
representation of this uncertainty, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive was published in 2008 and requires EU
member states to achieve ¡®good environmental status¡¯ (GES) in Europe¡¯s seas by 2020.
The present study aims to improve the knowledge regarding the distribution and possible accumulation of plastic litter in
the North Sea. The litter transport in the North Sea is modeled by further development of the Delft3d software. By
combining hydrodynamics with particle tracking concepts, the model calculates how the position of plastic particles
evolves in time from their release (discharge from rivers such as the Rhine or the Meuse) until the end of the simulation.
The settling velocity of the particles in the water system is dependent on the ambient conditions (temperature/salinity) as
well as on the particle characteristics (density/size).
The results for micro-sized plastics are presented, while ongoing work is extending the concept for the larger macrosized
plastic litter items. Different types (polyethylene, polystyrene, PET, PVC) and sizes (10 ¦Ìm, 330 ¦Ìm and 5 mm) of
plastics were simulated. The results demonstrate that density is the main determining factor for plastic settlement and
that size also has an effect on the final location of accumulation. Modeling results are then compared with field
measurements in sediments as a validation step. This research demonstrates that modeling can provide a regional or
global overview and aid in identifying monitoring questions.Form Required :
File Size : 646,168 bytes
File Type : Adobe Acrobat Document
Chapter : IAHR World Congress Proceedings
Category : 36th Congress - The Hague (2015) ALL CONTENT
Article : Hydro-environment
Date Published : 20/08/2015
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