Oceans and Climate


Lagrangian Ocean Dynamics

Lagrangian Ocean Analysis

Ocean currents transport water between and within the ocean basins. With this water, they also carry heat, nutrients, microbes and litter around. Understanding of the pathways and timescales on which the ocean currents transport all this material is hence critical for determining the role of the ocean in climate and for the fate of marine litter such as plastics. Work within the Lagrangian Ocean Analysis theme at IMAU is centered around numerical simulations of virtual particles within high-resolution ocean models. These virtual particles are set up to represent plastics, microbes, plankton or nutrients. Their pathways are analysed on scales ranging from 10s of kilometers to global. In addition to virtual particles in numerical flow fields, the team also extensively uses flow fields derived from satellite observations and drifters deployed in the real ocean.

Contact person

Contact person for this theme is dr Erik van Sebille.


A list of current group members can be found here.

Relevant links

TOPIOS: Tracking Of Plastics In Our Seas


Nanoplastics: Origin, Structure and Fate

Galapagos Plastic Free

Plastic Soup

Plastic Adrift