Lagrangian models offer the possibility to investigate the transport of chemicals without losing information on their origin, thus giving fundamental data on the contribution each source has on the overall exposure of the target ecosystem. On the other hand, while the capabilities of these models to predict the transport of chemicals have been widely studied (Onink et al., 2021), the inclusion of chemicals’ degradation processes has been less investigated.
The recently developed ChemicalDrift module for the OpenDrift modelling suite includes only non-ionizing organic chemicals (e.g. polyaromatic hydrocarbons) and describes degradation only as a single overall process.
The proposed project aims to extend the applicability of the ChemicalDrift module to ionizing organic and inorganic chemicals (such as emerging pollutants and metals), including also the simulation of different abiotic (i.e. photolysis and hydrolysis) and biotic (i.e. aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation) transformation mechanisms in the water column and the sediments.
The improved model will, therefore, better account for specific marine conditions’ effects on the transport and degradation of target chemicals while also maintaining the capability to differentiate between different pollution sources. This will be of interest especially in the case of highly variable and dynamic systems, such as coastal environments.
Moreover, the model will be applied and tested to investigate the chemical fate of target contaminants originating from anthropogenic activities along a selected part of the Norwegian coast.
The improved chemical fate and transport model developed during the proposed project will be publicly available on GitHub repository, thus contributing to the data sharing policy promoted in the present call.