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LAgrangian transport of MARrIne litter and microplastics from modeling, analysisand observations in CoAstal waters 



Marine litter, and plastic in particular, constitutes an environmental problem of growing concern. One of the major factors determining litter distribution, accumulation and fate is ocean motion. In coastal areas, hydrodynamics is characterized by a complex interaction of multiscale processes in which energy inputs from the atmosphere are balanced with dissipation on the coast and the seabed. This results in specific dynamical characteristics which spatial and temporal features cover a wide range of scales that differ from those of the open ocean.

quick & short

General objective

The aim of this project is to further understand the role of oceanic transport in marine litter (microplastics and meso/macrolitter) dispersion and accumulation areas in the sea surface, along the water column and over the seafloor. With special emphasis on coastal zones and in the range of scales from 1 m to 10 km, where the vertical motions by marine currents play a relevant role. Focusing on the distribution of marine litter by ocean currents, we propose an approach that combines ocean-current structures, oceanographic campaigns, and new Lagrangian tools from complex systems to characterize marine connectivity and mixing properties in coastal waters.



LAMARCA will develop a multidisciplinary approach and is made up of 3 separate projects:


Modeling, scale dependence and descriptors of frontal flows.


Structures of transport and connectivity patterns.


Observation and monitoring in the Bay of Biscay and Balearic sea coastal areas.