eCite Digital Repository

Geophysical features influence the accumulation of beach debris on Caribbean islands


Schmuck, AM and Lavers, JL and Stuckenbrock, S and Sharp, PB and Bond, AL, Geophysical features influence the accumulation of beach debris on Caribbean islands, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 121, (1-2) pp. 45-51. ISSN 0025-326X (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.05.043


Anthropogenic beach debris was recorded during beach surveys of 24 Caribbean islands during April 2014–April 2016. Beach debris was classified according to material type (e.g., polystyrene) and item use (e.g., fishing). Geophysical features (substrate type, beach direction, and human accessibility) of sample sites were recorded in order to investigate their relationship with debris density. Results suggest the density of macro debris (items > 5 mm) is highest on uninhabited, sandy beaches facing a leeward direction. Higher debris quantities on inaccessible beaches may be due to less frequent beach clean ups. Frequently accessed beaches exhibited lower macro, but higher micro debris (items 1–5 mm) densities, possibly due to removal of macro debris during frequent beach clean ups. This suggests that while geophysical features have some influence on anthropogenic debris densities, high debris densities are occurring on all islands within the Caribbean region regardless of substrate, beach direction, or human accessibility.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine debris, plastic pollution, citizen science, Caribbean Sea, beach direction, beach substrate
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Pollution and contamination
Research Field:Pollution and contamination not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Consumption patterns, population issues and the environment
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:116919
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:39
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-05-25
Last Modified:2018-05-28

Repository Staff Only: item control page