Articles | Volume 15, issue 5
Research article
14 Oct 2019
Research article |  | 14 Oct 2019

Basin-scale sources and pathways of microplastic that ends up in the Galápagos Archipelago

Erik van Sebille, Philippe Delandmeter, John Schofield, Britta Denise Hardesty, Jen Jones, and Andy Donnelly

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Cited articles

Ardhuin, F., Aksenov, Y., Benetazzo, A., Bertino, L., Brandt, P., Caubet, E., Chapron, B., Collard, F., Cravatte, S., Delouis, J.-M., Dias, F., Dibarboure, G., Gaultier, L., Johannessen, J., Korosov, A., Manucharyan, G., Menemenlis, D., Menendez, M., Monnier, G., Mouche, A., Nouguier, F., Nurser, G., Rampal, P., Reniers, A., Rodriguez, E., Stopa, J., Tison, C., Ubelmann, C., van Sebille, E., and Xie, J.: Measuring currents, ice drift, and waves from space: the Sea surface KInematics Multiscale monitoring (SKIM) concept, Ocean Sci., 14, 337–354,, 2018. a
Cózar, A., Echevarría, F., González-Gordillo, J. I., Irigoien, X., Ubeda, B., Hernández-León, S., Palma, A. T., Navarro, S., Garcíí-de Lomas, J., Ruiz, A., Fernández-de Puelles, M. L., and Duarte, C. M.: Plastic debris in the open ocean, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111, 10239–10244,, 2014. a
Cózar, A., Martí, E., Duarte, C. M., García-de Lomas, J., van Sebille, E., Ballatore, T. J., Eguíluz, V. M., González-Gordillo, J. I., Pedrotti, M. L., Echevarría, F., Troublè, R., and Irigoien, X.: The Arctic Ocean as a dead end for floating plastics in the North Atlantic branch of the Thermohaline Circulation, Science Advances, 3, e1600582,, 2017. a
Delandmeter, P. and van Sebille, E.: The Parcels v2.0 Lagrangian framework: new field interpolation schemes, Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 3571–3584,, 2019. a, b, c
Elipot, S., Lumpkin, R., Perez, R. C., Lilly, J. M., Early, J. J., and Sykulski, A. M.: A global surface drifter data set at hourly resolution, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 121, 2937–2966,, 2016. a, b, c
Short summary
The Galápagos Archipelago and Galápagos Marine Reserve are among the world's most iconic wildlife refuges. Yet, plastic litter is now found even in this remote archipelago. It is unclear where this plastic originates from. In this study, we show that remote coastal sources of plastic pollution are fairly localized and limited to South American and Central American coastlines. Identifying how plastic ends up in the Galápagos aids integrated management opportunities to reduce plastic pollution.