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Wave-induced cross-shore distribution of different densities, shapes, and sizes of plastic debris in coastal environments: A laboratory experiment

Abstract: Plastic debris is a significant threat to marine and coastal ecosystems. Previous research found that waves, wind, as well as density, size, and shape of microplastics, drive their transport and dispersion. In this paper, a set of laboratory experiments on the effect of waves and wave-induced currents on the input rate and cross-shore transport and dispersion of different types of plastic debris, including the macro and mesosizes, in addition to microplastics is presented. 15 plastic-debris types characterized by different sizes, shapes, and densities, including facemasks, were analyzed under regular and irregular wave conditions. The results show that input and transport rates of plastics depend on their terminal velocities and wave steepness. Plastics with higher settling velocities under less-steep wave conditions are likely to escape coastal entrapment and end up in the breaking zone. However, plastics with greater buoyancy rates under steeper waves show a predominant accumulation closer to the shoreline.

 Fuente: Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2023, 187, 114561

 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

 Publication date: 01/02/2023

 No. of pages: 14

 Publication type: Article

 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114561

 ISSN: 0025-326X,1879-3363

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