Coastal Research Centre (FZK) News and Events News
New publication on the transport of microplastics at the coast

New publication on the transport of microplastics at the coast

© DTU (2022)

In a new contribution, which was created in collaboration with colleagues from the DTU, experimental results on the distribution of non-buoyant microplastic particles during irregular wave propagation, shoaling and wave breaking on mobile, inclined sediment beds are presented. Eighteen groups of microplastic particles with different shapes, densities and sizes are examined. The experiments will consider two initial soil configurations, corresponding to (i) a plain bed and (ii) a previously developed single bar profile (more representative of field conditions).

Four different hotspots for the accumulation of microplastics were identified:

  • in front of the breakwater
  • at the breakwater,
  • in the plateau region between the breakwater and the beach
  • and on the beach.

It is found that the accumulation patterns mainly fall into three different particle Dean number regimes. The importance of plunging breakers for the transport of microplastic particles in the surf zone is highlighted.

To the article:

Hasan Gokhan Guler, Bjarke Eltard Larsen, Oriol Quintana, Koray Deniz Goral, Stefan Carstensen, Erik Damgaard Christensen, Nils B. Kerpen, Torsten Schlurmann, David R. Fuhrman, Experimental study of non-buoyant microplastic transport beneath breaking irregular waves on a live sediment bed, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 181, 2022, 113902, ISSN 0025-326X,