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Transport dynamics of plastics in aquatic environments (IAHR_5_S2)

Convenors: Arianna Varrani (Polish Academy of Sciences and University of Bologna), Daniel Valero Huerta (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education), Alexandra Murray (DHI A/S), Luca Solari (University of Florence)


Plastics can be found in aquatic and terrestrial environments. An increasing number of studies highlight the impacts of plastics in human and environmental systems and the potential hazards they pose in living organisms (from plants to humans), urging for interdisciplinary efforts. Whether by wind or water, various mechanisms are responsible for the transport of plastics, of all sizes, through the environment. To date, limited knowledge is available on the transport mechanisms of plastics in water bodies and via hydrological processes, which hinders the progress on modelling of plastic fluxes and may handicap monitoring efforts.

In this special session, we welcome contributions that directly address the dynamics and transport of plastics in aquatic environments, either in urban networks, freshwater systems, or and marine settings. Most welcome are modelling studies about the transport dynamics of plastics, with a focus on methods and techniques. This session is a space to discuss the hydrodynamics of plastics and the tools used for their incipient study, provides an overview of the cutting-edge research on plastic transport driven by water systems, and may help outlining future research directions and collaboration opportunities.