Opendata, web and dolomites


Tracking Of Plastic In Our Seas

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "TOPIOS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3584 CS

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙484˙760 €
 EC max contribution 1˙484˙760 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-04-01   to  2022-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT NL (UTRECHT) coordinator 1˙276˙792.00


 Project objective

The amount of plastic in our ocean is exponentially growing, with recent estimates of more than 5 million metric tonnes of plastic reaching the ocean each year. This plastic infiltrates the ocean food chain and thus poses a major threat to marine life. However, understanding of plastic movement and its budget in the ocean is inadequate to fully establish its environmental impact, prompting the EU and G7 to recently make marine litter a top science priority. It is now recognised that the amount of plastic entering our ocean is several orders of magnitude larger than the estimates of floating plastic on the surface of the ocean. More than 99% of plastic within our ocean is therefore ‘missing’. This project will make breakthroughs towards closing the plastic budget by creating a novel comprehensive modelling framework that tracks plastic movement through the ocean. Building on well-established previous work to follow generic water parcels through hydrodynamic ocean models, this project will modify these ‘virtual’ parcels to represent pieces of plastic by, for the first time, simulating fragmentation, sinking, beaching, wave-mixing and ingestion by biota. The new parameterisations that underpin this modelling will be based on field data and new coastal flume wave tank lab experiments. The simulated plastic particles will be tracked within state-of-the-art hydrodynamic ocean models, in order to compute maps of pathways and transports around our oceans and on coastlines and in biota. This numerical modelling will be used to evaluate a broad suite of scenarios and test hypotheses, including where the risk to marine biota is greatest. The results from this project will inform policymakers and the public on which countries, for example, are responsible for which part of the plastic problem, crucial for mitigation and legal frameworks. It will also inform engineers on where and how to best invest resources in mitigating the problem of plastic in our ocean.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Mirjam Mheen, Charitha Pattiaratchi, Erik Sebille
Role of Indian Ocean Dynamics on Accumulation of Buoyant Debris
published pages: 2571-2590, ISSN: 2169-9275, DOI: 10.1029/2018jc014806
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 124/4 2019-11-13
2019 David Wichmann, Philippe Delandmeter, Erik van Sebille
Influence of Near‐Surface Currents on the Global Dispersal of Marine Microplastic
published pages: 6086-6096, ISSN: 2169-9275, DOI: 10.1029/2019jc015328
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 124/8 2019-11-13
2019 Víctor Martínez-Vicente, James R. Clark, Paolo Corradi, Stefano Aliani, Manuel Arias, Mathias Bochow, Guillaume Bonnery, Matthew Cole, Andrés Cózar, Rory Donnelly, Fidel Echevarría, François Galgani, Shungudzemwoyo P. Garaba, Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy, Laurent Lebreton, Heather A. Leslie, Penelope K. Lindeque, Nikolai Maximenko, François-Régis Martin-Lauzer, Delwyn Moller, Peter Murphy, Loren
Measuring Marine Plastic Debris from Space: Initial Assessment of Observation Requirements
published pages: 2443, ISSN: 2072-4292, DOI: 10.3390/rs11202443
Remote Sensing 11/20 2019-11-13
2019 Hannah L Frond, Erik Sebille, J Mark Parnis, Miriam L Diamond, Nicholas Mallos, Tony Kingsbury, Chelsea M Rochman
Estimating the Mass of Chemicals Associated with Ocean Plastic Pollution to Inform Mitigation Efforts
published pages: 596-606, ISSN: 1551-3777, DOI: 10.1002/ieam.4147
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 15/4 2019-11-13
2019 Erik van Sebille, Philippe Delandmeter, John Schofield, Britta Denise Hardesty, Jen Jones, Andy Donnelly
Basin-scale sources and pathways of microplastic that ends up in the Galápagos Archipelago
published pages: 1341-1349, ISSN: 1812-0792, DOI: 10.5194/os-15-1341-2019
Ocean Science 15/5 2019-11-13
2019 Philippe Delandmeter, Erik van Sebille
The Parcels v2.0 Lagrangian framework: new field interpolation schemes
published pages: 3571-3584, ISSN: 1991-9603, DOI: 10.5194/gmd-12-3571-2019
Geoscientific Model Development 12/8 2019-11-07
2019 Victor Onink, David Wichmann, Philippe Delandmeter, Erik Sebille
The Role of Ekman Currents, Geostrophy, and Stokes Drift in the Accumulation of Floating Microplastic
published pages: 1474-1490, ISSN: 2169-9275, DOI: 10.1029/2018jc014547
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 124/3 2019-11-07
2019 Nikolai Maximenko, Paolo Corradi, Kara Lavender Law, Erik Van Sebille, Shungudzemwoyo P. Garaba, Richard Stephen Lampitt, Francois Galgani, Victor Martinez-Vicente, Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy, Joana Mira Veiga, Richard C. Thompson, Christophe Maes, Delwyn Moller, Carolin Regina Löscher, Anna Maria Addamo, Megan R. Lamson, Luca R. Centurioni, Nicole R. Posth, Rick Lumpkin, Matteo Vinci, Ana Maria Mart
Toward the Integrated Marine Debris Observing System
published pages: , ISSN: 2296-7745, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00447
Frontiers in Marine Science 6 2019-11-07
2019 Ana L. d. F. Lacerda, Lucas dos S. Rodrigues, Erik van Sebille, Fábio L. Rodrigues, Lourenço Ribeiro, Eduardo R. Secchi, Felipe Kessler, Maíra C. Proietti
Plastics in sea surface waters around the Antarctic Peninsula
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-40311-4
Scientific Reports 9/1 2019-11-07
2018 Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy, Steef Peters, Erik van Sebille, Neil A. James, Stuart Gibb
Concept for a hyperspectral remote sensing algorithm for floating marine macro plastics
published pages: 255-262, ISSN: 0025-326X, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.011
Marine Pollution Bulletin 126 2019-05-28
2018 Laurent Brach, Patrick Deixonne, Marie-France Bernard, Edmée Durand, Marie-Christine Desjean, Emile Perez, Erik van Sebille, Alexandra ter Halle
Anticyclonic eddies increase accumulation of microplastic in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre
published pages: 191-196, ISSN: 0025-326X, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.10.077
Marine Pollution Bulletin 126 2019-05-28
2017 Charles Axelsson, Erik van Sebille
Prevention through policy: Urban macroplastic leakages to the marine environment during extreme rainfall events
published pages: 211-227, ISSN: 0025-326X, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.07.024
Marine Pollution Bulletin 124/1 2019-05-28
2017 Albert A Koelmans, Merel Kooi, Kara Lavender Law, Erik van Sebille
All is not lost: deriving a top-down mass budget of plastic at sea
published pages: 114028, ISSN: 1748-9326, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa9500
Environmental Research Letters 12/11 2019-05-28
2018 Erik van Sebille, Stephen M. Griffies, Ryan Abernathey, Thomas P. Adams, Pavel Berloff, Arne Biastoch, Bruno Blanke, Eric P. Chassignet, Yu Cheng, Colin J. Cotter, Eric Deleersnijder, Kristofer Döös, Henri F. Drake, Sybren Drijfhout, Stefan F. Gary, Arnold W. Heemink, Joakim Kjellsson, Inga Monika Koszalka, Michael Lange, Camille Lique, Graeme A. MacGilchrist, Robert Marsh, C. Gabriela Mayorga Adame, Ronan McAdam, Francesco Nencioli, Claire B. Paris, Matthew D. Piggott, Jeff A. Polton, Siren Rühs, Syed H.A.M. Shah, Matthew D. Thomas, Jinbo Wang, Phillip J. Wolfram, Laure Zanna, Jan D. Zika
Lagrangian ocean analysis: Fundamentals and practices
published pages: 49-75, ISSN: 1463-5003, DOI: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2017.11.008
Ocean Modelling 121 2019-05-28
2017 Michael Lange, Erik van Sebille
Parcels v0.9: prototyping a Lagrangian ocean analysis framework for the petascale age
published pages: 4175-4186, ISSN: 1991-9603, DOI: 10.5194/gmd-10-4175-2017
Geoscientific Model Development 10/11 2019-05-28
2018 Emily M. Duncan, Jessica Arrowsmith, Charlotte Bain, Annette C. Broderick, Jonathon Lee, Kristian Metcalfe, Stephen K. Pikesley, Robin T.E. Snape, Erik van Sebille, Brendan J. Godley
The true depth of the Mediterranean plastic problem: Extreme microplastic pollution on marine turtle nesting beaches in Cyprus
published pages: 334-340, ISSN: 0025-326X, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.09.019
Marine Pollution Bulletin 136 2019-05-28
2018 Ronan McAdam, Erik van Sebille
Surface Connectivity and Interocean Exchanges From Drifter-Based Transition Matrices
published pages: 514-532, ISSN: 2169-9275, DOI: 10.1002/2017JC013363
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 123/1 2019-05-28
2018 Tom Bond, Veronica Ferrandiz-Mas, Mónica Felipe-Sotelo, Erik van Sebille
The occurrence and degradation of aquatic plastic litter based on polymer physicochemical properties: A review
published pages: 1-38, ISSN: 1064-3389, DOI: 10.1080/10643389.2018.1483155
Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology 2019-05-28

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