Research Topic

Early Career Scientists' Contributions to River Plastic Monitoring Across Scales

About this Research Topic

Plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems (rivers, lakes, estuaries, oceans) is of growing global concern, because of its negative impact on environmental health and human livelihood. Rivers are assumed to be one of the main transport pathways for land-based plastics from source to sea. Yet, observations and understanding of riverine plastics are scarce in comparison to the marine environment. To optimize plastic pollution prevention, mitigation and clean-up strategies, reliable data on plastic abundance, transport, and item/polymer types are crucial. Standardization and harmonization of river plastic monitoring methods will contribute to overcome the lack of consistent and long-term observations. Recent advances in both cost-effective and high-tech measurement methods may be key to achieve this.

This Research Topic welcomes contributions focused on river plastic monitoring across several scales. Within this, we aim to bridge the gap between (1) plastic size classes, (2) fundamental research and development of long-term monitoring strategies, (3) in situ and remote sensing observations, and (4) observation-based modelling approaches to link scales and ecosystems.

We welcome manuscripts on:
● Monitoring methods for nano, micro, meso, macro, and/or megaplastics;
● Monitoring methods for all river compartments, such as floating, suspended in the water column, riverbanks, sediment, floodplains, biota;
● Transport mechanisms of plastics in freshwater environments;
● Observation-based assessments of plastic emissions from rivers into the ocean;
● Citizen science approaches;
● Image-based methods, including cameras, UAVs, and spaceborne remote sensing;
● Monitoring the effects of river regulation on plastic transport, e.g. dams, weirs, locks and barrages;
● Long-term monitoring strategies;
● Case studies from rivers across the globe;
● Observation-based modelling plastic transport within and between terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.

This research topic is organized in collaboration with the following scientific sessions at EGU2020, AGU2020 and EGU2021:
● Plastic in freshwater environments (EGU2020 and EGU2021);
● Detecting and Monitoring Plastic Pollution in Rivers, Lakes and Oceans (EGU2021);
● Plastics in the Geosphere (AGU2020).


Keywords: Macroplastic, microplastic, sensing, plastic debris, marine litter


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems (rivers, lakes, estuaries, oceans) is of growing global concern, because of its negative impact on environmental health and human livelihood. Rivers are assumed to be one of the main transport pathways for land-based plastics from source to sea. Yet, observations and understanding of riverine plastics are scarce in comparison to the marine environment. To optimize plastic pollution prevention, mitigation and clean-up strategies, reliable data on plastic abundance, transport, and item/polymer types are crucial. Standardization and harmonization of river plastic monitoring methods will contribute to overcome the lack of consistent and long-term observations. Recent advances in both cost-effective and high-tech measurement methods may be key to achieve this.

This Research Topic welcomes contributions focused on river plastic monitoring across several scales. Within this, we aim to bridge the gap between (1) plastic size classes, (2) fundamental research and development of long-term monitoring strategies, (3) in situ and remote sensing observations, and (4) observation-based modelling approaches to link scales and ecosystems.

We welcome manuscripts on:
● Monitoring methods for nano, micro, meso, macro, and/or megaplastics;
● Monitoring methods for all river compartments, such as floating, suspended in the water column, riverbanks, sediment, floodplains, biota;
● Transport mechanisms of plastics in freshwater environments;
● Observation-based assessments of plastic emissions from rivers into the ocean;
● Citizen science approaches;
● Image-based methods, including cameras, UAVs, and spaceborne remote sensing;
● Monitoring the effects of river regulation on plastic transport, e.g. dams, weirs, locks and barrages;
● Long-term monitoring strategies;
● Case studies from rivers across the globe;
● Observation-based modelling plastic transport within and between terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.

This research topic is organized in collaboration with the following scientific sessions at EGU2020, AGU2020 and EGU2021:
● Plastic in freshwater environments (EGU2020 and EGU2021);
● Detecting and Monitoring Plastic Pollution in Rivers, Lakes and Oceans (EGU2021);
● Plastics in the Geosphere (AGU2020).


Keywords: Macroplastic, microplastic, sensing, plastic debris, marine litter


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

21 December 2020 Abstract
02 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

21 December 2020 Abstract
02 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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