Where does the litter go? Surface drifters reveal pathways of floating marine debris in tidally influenced areas of the North Sea
We designed low-budget surface drifters as part of the project “Macroplastics” that are particularly well suited for the use in shallow tidal basins (Meyerjürgens et al. 2019). The drifters were equipped with a GPS receiver and satellite communication for data transmission. The drifter motion simulates currents of the ocean surface layer (0.5 m) taking into account wave and wind induced motions. The results of the experiments reveal sub-mesoscale transport patterns as well as the dispersion, accumulation and potential beaching locations of FML. We also discuss how unusual weather conditions resulted in extreme westward surface of FML drift in the North Sea (Stanev et al. 2019) and draw general conclusions for future efforts to estimate the distribution of FML in the area.
Meyerjürgens J, Badewien TH,Garaba SP, Wolff J-O and Zielinski O, (2019), A State-of-the-Art CompactSurface Drifter Reveals Pathways ofFloating Marine Litter in the GermanBight. Front. Mar. Sci. 6:58.doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00058
E.V. Staneva , T.H. Badewien, H. Freund, S. Grayek, F. Hahner, J. Meyerjürgens,M. Ricker, R.I. Schöneich-Argent, J.-O. Wolff, O. Zielinski (2019), Extreme westward surface drift in the North Sea: Public reports of strandeddrifters and Lagrangian tracking, Continental Shelf ResearchVolume 177, 1 April 2019, Pages 24-32, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2019.03.003