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Is there a relationship between floating plastic accumulation and fronts over the continental shelf zone of Northeast US?


Le, P and Fischer, AM and Hardesty, BD and Auman, HJ and Wilcox, C, Is there a relationship between floating plastic accumulation and fronts over the continental shelf zone of Northeast US?, The 7th International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC) Programme, 18-23 September 2022, Busan, Republic of Korea, pp. 302. (2022) [Conference Extract]

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Plastic pollution is one of the world’s most concerning issues, causing multiple threats to the marine environment, due to its potential impacts on biodiversity, communities, and ecosystem services. It is estimated that three-quarters of marine debris is plastic, with approximately 70 to 80% of floating plastic accumulating the coastal zones. Marine debris transport and concentrations are driven by water convergences (fronts) generated by oceanographic processes, such as wind stress curl, Ekman pumping and tidal mixing. The concentration of marine debris has been reported in gyres, eddies, tidal fronts, salinity fronts, and coastal fronts. This study explores the possibility of fronts as an indicator to detect marine floating litter along the continental shelf, an understudied area. We focused on the northeast coast of the USA in the North Atlantic. By understanding frontal activity and formation along with available in-situ floating plastic data set, we can predict how and where marine floating litter is distributed. We applied remote sensing to identify sea surface temperature (SST) fronts, with a 11-year period (2002 – 2012) MODIS SST data set. We use SST and compare this data to the Sea Education Association’s North Atlantic and Law et al. (2012) data set using surface plankton net tows from 2002 to 2012. We assess the relationship between frontal frequency and floating plastic debris in the continental shelf zone. Results highlight the need to consider continental shelf marine plastic hotspots, given these are areas of high biodiversity value around the globe.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:marine debris, plastic pollution, marine debris transport, marine plastic, biodiversity hotspots
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Pollution and contamination
Research Field:Pollution and contamination not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Le, P (Miss Tran Duy Phuc Le)
UTAS Author:Fischer, AM (Dr Andy Fischer)
UTAS Author:Hardesty, BD (Dr Britta Hardesty)
UTAS Author:Auman, HJ (Dr Heidi Auman)
UTAS Author:Wilcox, C (Dr Chris Wilcox)
ID Code:154117
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-10-31
Last Modified:2022-10-31

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