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PlaSTic On beaches: 3D-distRibution and weathering

Clermont-Auvergne INP - France

Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean, Project, Understand and beat marine pollution

Recent global plastic pollution models predict that two thirds of the plastic mass released from land into the ocean since 1950s is likely to have stranded around the world’s shoreline. Yet, our knowledge of the fate of beached Marine Plastic Debris (MPD) remains limited.

We propose a novel approach based on repeated field-surveys of surface and buried MPD and studying physico chemical transformations induced by MPD aging on Hawaiian beaches, which are known hot-spots for MPD due to their proximity to the North Pacific Garbage Patch. Repeated field-survey data of surface and buried MPD on beaches will generate dynamic 3D maps of beached MPD which will provide a better understanding of beach attributes that evoke MDP trapping, accumulation and mobility. Following the aging of plastic debris when stored on beaches will reveal dominating MPD transformations and rates, including fragmentation rates, which will provide key information to model fate of MPD.

This project is hosted by the Ocean Decade Programme Early Career Ocean Professionals

Start date: 01/05/2022
End date: 30/04/2025

Lead Contact: Astrid Delorme (astrid.delorme@sigma-clermont.fr)