Combining Litter Observations with a Regional Ocean Model to Identify Sources and Sinks of Floating Debris in a Semi-enclosed Basin: The Adriatic Sea
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AuthorsCarlson, D.F. (Daniel F.); Suaria, G. (Giuseppe); Aliani, S. (Stefano); Fredj, E. (Erick); Fortibuoni, T. (Tomaso); Griffa, A. (Annalisa); Russo, A. (Aniello); Melli, V. (Valentina)
Editor/sGalgani, F. (Francois)
lagrangian particle tracking
Visual ship transect surveys provide crucial information about the density, and spatial distribution of floating anthropogenic litter in a basin. However, such observations provide a ‘snapshot’ of local conditions at a given time and cannot be used to deduce the provenance of the litter or to predict its fate, crucial information for management and mitigation policies. Particle tracking techniques have seen extensive use in these roles, however, most previous studies have used simplistic initial conditions based on bulk average inputs of debris to the system. Here, observations of floating anthropogenic macro debris in the Adriatic Sea are used to define initial conditions (number of particles, location, and time) in a Lagrangian particle tracking model. Particles are advected backward and forward in time for 60 days (120 days total) using surface velocities from an operational regional ocean model. Sources and sinks for debris observed in the central and southern Adriatic in May 2013 ...
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