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Authors: Liubartseva, Svitlana* 
Coppini, Giovanni* 
Lecci, Rita* 
Clementi, Emanuela* 
Title: Tracking plastics in the Mediterranean: 2D Lagrangian model
Issue Date: Apr-2018
Series/Report no.: /129 (2018)
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.02.019
Abstract: Drift of floating debris is studied with a 2D Lagrangian model with stochastic beaching and sedimentation of plastics. An ensemble of >1010 virtual particles is tracked from anthropogenic sources (coastal human populations, rivers, shipping lanes) to environmental destinations (sea surface, coastlines, seabed). Daily analyses of ocean currents and waves provided by CMEMS at a horizontal resolution of 1/16° are used to force the plastics. High spatio-temporal variability in sea-surface plastic concentrations without any stable long-term accumulations is found. Substantial accumulation of plastics is detected on coastlines and the sea bottom. The most contaminated areas are in the Cilician subbasin, Catalan Sea, and near the Po River Delta. Also, highly polluted local patches in the vicinity of sources with limited circulation are identified. An inverse problem solution, used to quantify the origins of plastics, shows that plastic pollution of every Mediterranean country is caused primarily by its own terrestrial sources.
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