Behaviour of plastic litter in nearshore waters: First insights from wind and wave laboratory experiments

Pernille Louise Forsberg, Damien Sous, Alessandro Stocchino, Remi Chemin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Plastic litter in nearshore waters is an environmental pollutant with increasing impact on coastal environments. At present, knowledge on basic plastic particle dynamics and the interaction with complex hydrodynamics is lacking. The present laboratory study, performed under controlled wave and wind conditions, demonstrates the dispersion of plastics in shallow waters. The study presents a simple case looking solely at cross-shore particle transport. The results show that both wind and waves as well as plastic properties (shape and density) govern the behaviour of plastic litter in the nearshore zone. Heavy particles behave like natural sand with accumulation in the wave breaking zone. Light particles have varying accumulation along the coastal profile depending on the wind, waves and particle shapes. More extensive characterization remains to be done in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111023
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Nearshore zone
  • Plastic
  • Pollution
  • Waves
  • Wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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