Numerical simulations of the vertical distribution of microplastics in the ocean

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics


The central aim of this project will be to use high resolution numerical simulations to study the influence of small-scale physics on the vertical distribution of microplastics in the ocean. Specifically, this will involve a Lagrangian particle-tracking model embedded within large-eddy simulations (LES). The primary advantage of LES within this context is that it explicitly resolves the largest three-dimensional turbulent motions, which are responsible for the majority of the vertical particle transport. The simulations will be forced by wind and surface heat fluxes to represent a variety of realistic scenarios. The LES will allow us to deeply probe the fluid dynamical processes at play and their impact on microplastics. We will then work to develop a model for the vertical distribution of microplastics for use in global ocean models.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/S007164/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2027
2436085 Studentship NE/S007164/1 30/09/2020 31/03/2024 Jennifer Alice Dingwall