Vertical Distribution of Particles in Upper-Ocean Turbulence: Laboratory Modelling of Plastic Pollution
We present here an experimental approach focused on the dynamics of nearly-buoyant particles, of different sizes (from 0.5mm to 6mm), dispersed in a turbulent flow induced by a vertically-oscillating grid (whom intensity decreases with depth). First, we characterize the turbulence, using PIV measurements, to estimate the depth profiles of turbulent quantities, to ultimately get the eddy viscosity profiles. Second, we study the dynamics and the transport of nearly buoyant particles in such flow. We then compare our results with previous studies on tracers (Kukulka et al., 2012) and heavy particles (Michallet \& Mory, 2004); and discuss how to extend our results to global plastic pollution.