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CSDMS 2023: Patterns and Processes Across Scales

Buoyant particles in environmental flows: challenges in modelling microplastic transport

Michelle DiBenedetto

University of Washington, United States

Plastic pollution is a ubiquitous issue impacting the health of marine ecosystems worldwide. Yet, critical knowledge gaps surrounding the fate and transport of plastic once it enters the ocean impede remediation and prevention efforts. Predicting transport is difficult for any particle in the ocean, but microplastics present a particular challenge because their size and density fall outside the regimes of traditionally studied environmental particles such as low-density bubbles and high-density sediment. In this talk I will discuss recent work addressing these challenges with both modelling and experiments.

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Of interest for:
  • Marine Working Group
  • Coastal Working Group