Simulation of floating marine litter densities in the southern Bay of Biscay

Rivages Pro Tech (RPT) is a science-based operational center from SUEZ Company located in Bidart (France). RPT is specialized in developing innovative tools using operational oceanography and monitoring of the water environments. Aiming to detect, monitor and predict possible destinations and dispersal pathways of floating marine litter (FML), a set of drones equipped with cameras are being used in the Adour River plume area (30 min flying, 3 test flights from march to june 2018). The information of these technologies should complement the information provided by numerical models for FML prediction. These models are based on a particle-tracking approach using fields of surface ocean currents provided by measurements or operational ocean models, to further anticipate the dispersion of FML across the coastal area. Results are assessed by comparison with various observations like e.g. GPS-equipped drifters, or satellite observations of surface ocean color. The figure below (Fig. 1) shows a transport density map produced from a 5 years hindcast simulation of surface ocean transport, taking into account material discharged with river outflows in the SE in the Bay of Biscay. This study has been submitted for publication in Journal of Operational Oceanography.

Fig. 1 Transport density map produced from a 5 years hindcast simulation of surface ocean transport, taking into account material discharged with river outflows in the SE in the Bay of Biscay.

 

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