MicroplastiX - Effects of weathering and biofouling on microplastics
MicroplastiX is an international, multidisciplinary research project which will investigate the effects of weathering and degradation on plastic materials along with the consequent fragmentation into smaller items known as microplastics (MPs). The project will also explore how these processes affect MP distribution and dispersal on the marine environment, as well as effects on marine biota.
The project aims to further understand :
- How turbidity and stirring affect the buoyancy of microplastic;
- How microplastics are transported from the beaches and coastal areas to the open ocean;
- What are the effects of Stokes drift, Langmuir circulation, and other, non-linear wind effects on the microplastic dispersion and distribution;
- How microplastics are affected by movement, entrainment and accumulation in the water column and/or on the seafloor, both horizontally and vertically;
- What are the effects and impacts of degradation, fragmentation, bio aggregation and biofouling on the buoyancy of microplastic particles;
- How do microplastics impact marine organisms;
- How can we develop, optimise and validate mathematical tools and software to simulate the microplastics physical and biochemical processes in seawater.