Forecast of marine litter drift, providing support to local communities for the mitigation of waste/discharge, and the help to local authorities for scheduling beach cleansing.

European North-West Shelf Seas Region

The litter-TEP Area of Interest matches with the CMEMS products European North West Shelf seas. The current service includes all Rivers from Ireland, UK, Belgium, Netherland, and some from France, Germany and Denmark (The ones include in the AOI).

Macro-litter volume in rivers mouths
Estimated daily number of macro-litters coming at sea from rivers
Macro-litter volume in the Sea


« Today » Estimated volume of floating litters

Description of the Service & Targeted Users

Meteorological events, such as storms and/or gale force winds, act as triggers to influx of macro litter into the hydrological cycle via run off from land into rivers. These rivers discharge into the sea and the marine litter is then transported through the region by currents and wind either becoming entrained in the sea, possibly sinking or and/or disintegrating into micro marine litter, or ending up becoming stranded on the coast. The aim of the Litter-TEP service is to track marine litter from the source, i.e. river discharge, to potential beach groundings and, inversely, where a beach litter event is identified to provide a likelihood of where the litter entered the sea.

The service is dedicated to local communities, groups of citizens, and NGOs, to assess the risks of marine litters being washed ashore further to hydro-meteorological events such as storms and floods, and to schedule the cleaning of the beaches.

The Copernicus marine service products used in the LITTER-TEP service

Litter-TEP makes use of the hind-cast-nowcast-forecast of ocean conditions by the COPERNICUS Marine Monitoring Service:

Utility and usefulness of the Copernicus marine service information

Copernicus Marine Service information on the fields of currents and waves is of the utmost importance to easily compute the drift of objects from the source of litter, river mouths, harbours, housing and recreational areas by the sea, to their unwelcome resting place on the seafloor or on other shorelines.

Eulerian models are used to estimate the bulk flow of water and associated marine litter at the native 7km resolution of the Copernicus Marine Service data. In addition, Lagrangian particle tracking models will utilise these data inputs, along with auxiliary data, to track the drift of marine litter due to currents, waves and wind.

For more information about the litter-TEP service

Litter-TEP Service Desk

For more information about the Copernicus Marine Service

CMEMS Service Desk