Chasing Water: How ocean currents transport plastic and plankton around the globe

Erik van Sebille
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Seminar Date: 
21. October 2019 - 11:15
Lecture room, Ground Floor, NERSC

The ocean is in constant motion, with water circulating within and flowing between basins. As the water moves around, it caries heat and nutrients, as well as planktonic organisms and plastic litter around the globe.

The most natural way to study the pathways of water and the connections between ocean basins is using particle trajectories. The trajectories can come from computing of virtual floats in high-resolution ocean models.

In this seminar, I'll give an overview of some recent work with Lagrangian particles. I will introduce our new open-source framework. I will show applications to marine microbiology and ecology, palaeoclimatology and plastic pollution. Central to each of these studies is the question on how connected the different ocean basins are, and on what time scales water flows between the different regions of the ocean.