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The physical oceanography of the transport of floating marine debris

Erik van Sebille 1 Stefano Aliani 2 Kara L. Law 3 Nikolai Maximenko 4 José M. Alsina 5 Andrei Bagaev 6, 7 Melanie Bergmann 8 Bertrand Chapron 9 Irina Chubarenko 6 Andrés Cózar 10 Philippe Delandmeter 1 Matthias Egger 11 Baylor Fox-Kemper 12 Shungudzemwoyo P Garaba 11, 13 Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy 14 Britta D. Hardesty 15 Matthew J . Hoffman 16 Atsuhiko Isobe 17 Cleo E. Jongedijk 18 Mikael L. A. Kaandorp 1 Liliya Khatmullina 6 Albert A. Koelmans 19 Tobias Kukulka 20 Charlotte Laufkötter 21 Laurent Lebreton 11 Delphine Lobelle 1, 22, 23 Christophe Maes 9, 24 Victor Martinez-Vicente 25 Miguel A. Morales Maqueda 26 Marie Poulain 27, 28 Ernesto Rodríguez 29 Peter G. Ryan 30 Alan L. Shanks 31 Won Joon Shim 32 Giuseppe Suaria 2 Martin Thiel 33, 34, 35 Ton S. van den Bremer 36 David Wichmann 1
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CREATIS - Centre de Recherche en Acquisition et Traitement de l'Image pour la Santé
Abstract : Marine plastic debris floating on the ocean surface is a major environmental problem. However, its distribution in the ocean is poorly mapped, and most of the plastic waste estimated to have entered the ocean from land is unaccounted for. Better understanding of how plastic debris is transported from coastal and marine sources is crucial to quantify and close the global inventory of marine plastics, which in turn represents critical information for mitigation or policy strategies. At the same time, plastic is a unique tracer that provides an opportunity to learn more about the physics and dynamics of our ocean across multiple scales, from the Ekman convergence in basin-scale gyres to individual waves in the surfzone. In this review, we comprehensively discuss what is known about the different processes that govern the transport of floating marine plastic debris in both the open ocean and the coastal zones, based on the published literature and referring to insights from neighbouring fields such as oil spill dispersion, marine safety recovery, plankton connectivity, and others. We discuss how measurements of marine plastics (both in situ and in the laboratory), remote sensing, and numerical simulations can elucidate these processes and their interactions across spatio-temporal scales.
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Erik van Sebille, Stefano Aliani, Kara L. Law, Nikolai Maximenko, José M. Alsina, et al.. The physical oceanography of the transport of floating marine debris. Environmental Research Letters, IOP Publishing, 2020, 15 (2), pp.1-32. ⟨10.1088/1748-9326/ab6d7d⟩. ⟨hal-02640336⟩

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