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Code for "Influence of near-surface currents on the global dispersal of marine microplastic"

Authors: David Wichmann, Philippe Delandmeter, Erik van Sebille

This repository contains all code needed for the simulation and analysis for the paper. For questions, please contact

OceanParcels versions

For all but the 3D simulation, we used OceanParcels version 1.11 with slight modifications: For loading a sub-set of depths, it was necessary to comment lines 173 and 174 of in the parcels folder.

We used OceanParcels version 2.0 for the 3D simulation. See: Delandmeter, P. & van Sebille, E. The Parcels v2.0 Lagrangian framework: new field interpolation schemes. Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss. 1–24 (2019).

Particle Initial Coordinates

See InitialCoordinates/ for creating a uniform 2D initial grid of particles.


For all but 3D simulation: Use Simulations/ For 3D siulation:

Simulation for fixed depths

The following command will put particles in the 13th depth level of the NEMO data. Initial particle locations are split into different sub-sets. The index posidx refers to this index. Here we use the initial grid no 3:

python -name FileName -y 2000 -m 1 -d 5 -simdays 3650 -posidx 3 -depth 13

Simulation for Uniform mixing

The following command will execute a simulation where particles are uniformly replaced along the vertical at each time step between 0 and 120 m.

python -name FileName -y 2000 -m 1 -d 5 -simdays 3650 -posidx 3 -uniformmixing True

Simulation for Kukulka 2012 mixing

Simulation for exponential mixing according to Kukulka 2012. The rise speed is set to 0.003 m/s.

python -name FileName -y 2000 -m 1 -d 5 -simdays 3650 -posidx 3 -kukulkamixing True -wrise 0.003

Simulation for 3D particles

python -name FileName -y 2000 -m 1 -d 5 -simdays 3650 -posidx 3


Execute Analysis/ to create all figures and tables for the main document and the supplementary material (adjust read-in file names according to the simulation output file names). Analysis/ contains the objects and region definitions for the data analysis.


Code for paper "Influence of near-surface currents on the global dispersal of marine microplastic"




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