Laboratory Investigation of Cross-Shore Lagrangian Velocities Of Buoyant Microplastic Particles in Irregular Waves

Bjarke Eltard Larsen*, Mustafa A. A. Obaidi, Hasan Gokhan Guler, Stefan Carstensen, Koray Deniz Goral, Erik Damgaard Christensen, Nils B. Kerpen, Torsten Schlurmann, David R. Fuhrman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents a wave flume investigation of beaching times for buoyant microplastic particles dropped at various distance from the shoreline. The beaching times are used to quantify the cross-shore Lagrangian transport velocities of the microplastic particles. Results show that prior to breaking, there is little dependence on particle characteristics (e.g. their rise velocity), and the particles travel onshore with a velocity close to the Lagrangian fluid particle velocity. In the surf zone the Lagrangian transport velocities of the microplastic particles increase significantly, becoming closer to the wave celerity. Additionally, particle characteristics become important, as particles with low Dean numbers (high rise velocity) have a greater tendency to be captured by surface rollers relative to particles with larger Dean numbers (lower rise velocity). An empirical relation is formulated for predicting the cross-shore Lagrangian transport velocities of buoyant microplastic particles. The expression matches the present experiments well and is valid for both non-breaking and breaking irregular waves. These findings help in understanding the accumulation of microplastics at beaches due to the surf-zone processes, especially for buoyant particles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Proceedings of the Coastal Sediments 2023
EditorsPing Wang, Elizabeth Royer, Julie D. Rosati
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherWorld Scientific
Publication date2023
Pages1988-1996
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-12-7513-5, 978-981-127-514-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventCoastal Sediments 2023 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 11 Apr 202315 Apr 2023

Conference

ConferenceCoastal Sediments 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period11/04/202315/04/2023

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