Abstract's details

Monitoring marine litter with ocean current products in the North Atlantic Ocean

Muriel Lux (NOVELTIS, France)


Etienne Sahuc (NOVELTIS, France); Mathilde Cancet (NOVELTIS, France); Matthieu Denisselle (NOVELTIS, France)

Event: 2019 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Others (poster only)

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: not provided


With an increasing rate of production, plastic management has become a global concern. As a majority of plastic items are single-use products, mismanagement of waste leads to a lot of items ending up at sea. Monitoring plastic litter has become of great importance for the protection of the ocean and water quality. The IFADO (Innovation in the Framework of the Atlantic Deep Ocean) project aims to create new marine services to support the Marine Strategy Framework Directive implementation with the North Atlantic Ocean as a study case. One of the objectives of this project is to use Earth Observation products in order to characterize marine litter convergence zones, pathways and main sources in the North Atlantic Ocean. This information is essential in the perspective of preventive and cleaning actions.
We used the Lagrangian particle modelling tool Opendrift, developed at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, to evidence convergence areas in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Opendrift tool was fed with global ocean current maps derived from satellite observations (GlobCurrent products) or computed by an ocean circulation model (CMEMS analyses). Different scenarios of marine litter release were considered in order to understand the fate of plastic particles released from land (80% of marine litter ending up in the ocean) and the trajectories of particles floating offshore (shipping and fishing litter). Indicators were developed to highlight the preferential residence zones and pathways for plastic particles.
This presentation highlights the capabilities of ocean current products derived from satellite observations and models to simulate plastic particles trajectories at a basin scale. Comparison of the results shows a good consistency between both products.


Poster show times:

Room Start Date End Date
The Gallery Tue, Oct 22 2019,16:15 Tue, Oct 22 2019,18:00
The Gallery Thu, Oct 24 2019,14:00 Thu, Oct 24 2019,15:45
Muriel Lux