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Surface waters, from streams to oceans, are increasingly exposed to a wide range of anthropogenic impacts. Human activities alter water flow, the morphology of the water body as well as water quality, eventually affecting the environment. Researchers have better and better understanding of the water and even of the more complex sediment balances of river networks, however, there is still a significant knowledge gap about the dynamics of different pollutants. Among the wide range of river pollutants, plastics represent a significant amount, moreover, our knowledge on the transport processes of plastics is strongly limited. It was only the last 10 years that we recognized that practically all surface waters on the planet are polluted with small to microscopical plastic particles, or in other words: microplastics. Microplastics are plastic items with a characteristic size < 5 mm, which are either directly emitted to the environment or generated by the weathering of larger plastic objects (bags, bottles, etc.). Microplastics are released in the waters in many ways, e.g. from wastewater treatment plans, agricultural drainage or storm drainage, and even atmospheric loading by windblown dust. In streams, plastic particles are exposed to the same hydraulic forcing as sediment grains and therefore their transport should be connected. Thus, as rivers transport sediment grains, they similarly act as pathways for microplastics from the source to the marine environment, which can be considered as a terminal sink. However, rivers themselves can also act as sinks, retaining a significant portion of the microplastic pollution that they receive in their sediments. Plastic particles can cause a high variety of negative effects on the biota, from physical injuries to toxicity. Macroplastics, having a characteristic size of > 5 mm are also transported by rivers, however, the spatio-temporal dynamics of macroplastic transport is very different compared to microplastics.
The proposed PhD research focuses on the analysis of plastic transport in rivers by means of sophisticated field measurement and computational simulation tools. The candidate has to work out a field sampling method, based on which the quantitative description of microplastic transport is feasible. Through representative case studies, the spatial and temporal behavior of microplastic dynamics has to be analyzed. As for the macroplastics, also a novel field measurement method has to be developed, rather based on video footages, which is capable to identify and quantify the plastic pollution in the main channel as well as on floodplains of rivers. Using the developed field methods, a computational model has to be parameterized and validated to describe the transport processes of the different kinds of plastics, considering the potential sources of the pollution, the river hydrodynamics, and the interaction between the water and solid phases.
A few relevant questions that should be addressed within the proposed research:
• Can we quantify the influence of accumulation hotspots, such as groyne fields, floodplains, river bends or side branches on the longitudinal variation of plastic transport?
• How are the microplastics being transported in rivers, what is their temporal and spatial behavior? How fast does the microplastic size distribution change along rivers?
• Deposition of plastics in floodplains? Is there a return from a floodplain?
• What are dominant forms of microplastic in smaller or larger rivers? If there is a difference, which mechanisms are responsible for the change and at which rate do they act?
A téma meghatározó irodalma:
1. Horton, Alice A.; Dixon, Simon J. 2018. Microplastics: an introduction to environmental transport processes. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 5 (2), e1268
2. Waldschläger, K; Lechthaler, S; Stauch, G; Schüttrumpf, H. 2020. The way of microplastic through the environment – Application of the source-pathway-receptor model (review). Science of The Total Environment Volume 713, 15 April 2020, 136584
3. Zhang, S., Wang, J., Liu, X., Qu, F., Wang, X., Wang, X., Li, Y., Sun, Y. 2019. Microplastics in the environment: A review of analytical methods, distribution, and biological effects. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry Volume 111, February 2019, Pages 62-72.
4. van Emmerik, T, Schwarz, A. Plastic debris in rivers. WIREs Water. 2020; 7:e1398. https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1398
5. Kooi M., Besseling E., Kroeze C., van Wezel A.P., Koelmans A.A. (2018) Modeling the Fate and Transport of Plastic Debris in Freshwaters: Review and Guidance. In: Wagner M., Lambert S. (eds) Freshwater Microplastics. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 58. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-61615-5_7
A téma hazai és nemzetközi folyóiratai:
1. River Research and Applications
3. Water Resources Research
4. Flow measurement and Instrumentation
5. Advances in Water Resources
A témavezető utóbbi tíz évben megjelent 5 legfontosabb publikációja:
1. M Guerrero, N Rüther, R Szupiany, S Haun, S Baranya, F Latosinski. 2016. The acoustic properties of suspended sediment in large rivers: consequences on ADCP methods applicability. Water 8 (1), 13
2. S Baranya, NRB Olsen, J Józsa. 2015. Flow analysis of a river confluence with field measurements and RANS model with nested grid approach. River research and applications 31 (1), 28-41
3. S Baranya, NRB Olsen, T Stoesser, T Sturm. 2012. Three-dimensional RANS modeling of flow around circular piers using nested grids. Engineering Applications of Computational Fluid Mechanics 6 (4), 648-662
4. S Baranya, J Józsa. 2013. Estimation of suspended sediment concentrations with ADCP in Danube River. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics 61 (3), 232-240
5. M Muste, S Baranya, R Tsubaki, D Kim, H Ho, H Tsai, D Law. 2016. Acoustic mapping velocimetry. Water Resources Research 52 (5), 4132-4150
A témavezető fenti folyóiratokban megjelent 5 közleménye:
1. S Baranya, NRB Olsen, J Józsa. 2015. Flow analysis of a river confluence with field measurements and RANS model with nested grid approach. River research and applications 31 (1), 28-41
2. M Guerrero, N Rüther, R Szupiany, S Haun, S Baranya, F Latosinski. 2016. The acoustic properties of suspended sediment in large rivers: consequences on ADCP methods applicability. Water 8 (1), 13
3. M Muste, S Baranya, R Tsubaki, D Kim, H Ho, H Tsai, D Law. 2016. Acoustic mapping velocimetry. Water Resources Research 52 (5), 4132-4150
4. S Haun, N Rüther, S Baranya, M Guerrero. 2015. Comparison of real time suspended sediment transport measurements in river environment by LISST instruments in stationary and moving operation mode. Flow Measurement and Instrumentation 41, 10-17
5. M Guerrero, N Rüther, S Haun, S Baranya. 2017. A combined use of acoustic and optical devices to investigate suspended sediment in rivers. Advances in Water Resources 102, 1-12
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