Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 561932
Title Rapid Assessment of Floating Macroplastic Transport in the Rhine
Author(s) Vriend, Paul; Calcar, Caroline van; Kooi, Merel; Landman, Harm; Pikaar, Remco; Emmerik, Tim van
Source Frontiers in Marine Science 7 (2020). - ISSN 2296-7745
DOI https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00010
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Keyword(s) flux measurements - hydrology - macroplastic - marine litter - passive sampling - riverine plastic - visual sampling
Abstract

Most marine litter pollution is assumed to originate from land-based sources, entering the marine environment through rivers. To better understand and quantify the risk that plastic pollution poses on aquatic ecosystems, and to develop effective prevention and mitigation methods, a better understanding of riverine plastic transport is needed. To achieve this, quantification of riverine plastic transport is crucial. Here, we demonstrate how established methods can be combined to provide a rapid and cost-effective characterization and quantification of floating macroplastic transport in the River Rhine. We combine visual observations with passive sampling to arrive at a first-order estimate of macroplastic transport, both in number (10–75 items per hour) and mass per unit of time (1.3–9.7 kg per day). Additionally, our assessment gives insight in the most abundant macroplastic polymer types the downstream reach of the River Rhine. Furthermore, we explore the spatial and temporal variation of plastic transport within the river, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of current sampling methods. Finally, we present an outlook for future monitoring of major rivers, including several suggestions on how to expand the rapid assessment presented in this paper.

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