Riverine plastic litter monitoring using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Marlein Geraeds*, Tim van Emmerik, Robin de Vries, Mohd Shahrizal bin Ab Razak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plastic debris has become an abundant pollutant in marine, coastal and riverine environments, posing a large threat to aquatic life. Effective measures to mitigate and prevent marine plastic pollution require a thorough understanding of its origin and eventual fate. Several models have estimated that land-based sources are the main source of marine plastic pollution, although field data to substantiate these estimates remain limited. Current methodologies to measure riverine plastic transport require the availability of infrastructure and accessible riverbanks, but, to obtain measurements on a higher spatial and temporal scale, new monitoring methods are required. This paper presents a new methodology for quantifying riverine plastic debris using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), including a first application on Klang River, Malaysia. Additional plastic measurements were done in parallel with the UAV-based approach to make comparisons between the two methods. The spatiotemporal distribution of the plastics obtained with both methods show similar patterns and variations. With this, we show that UAV-based monitoring methods are a promising alternative for currently available approaches for monitoring riverine plastic transport, especially in remote and inaccessible areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2045
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume11
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2019

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litter
plastic
monitoring
pollution
methodology
vehicle
infrastructure
method
pollutant
river

Keywords

  • Hydrology
  • Marine plastic
  • Plastic litter
  • Rivers
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles

Cite this

Geraeds, Marlein ; van Emmerik, Tim ; de Vries, Robin ; bin Ab Razak, Mohd Shahrizal. / Riverine plastic litter monitoring using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). In: Remote Sensing. 2019 ; Vol. 11, No. 17.
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title = "Riverine plastic litter monitoring using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)",
abstract = "Plastic debris has become an abundant pollutant in marine, coastal and riverine environments, posing a large threat to aquatic life. Effective measures to mitigate and prevent marine plastic pollution require a thorough understanding of its origin and eventual fate. Several models have estimated that land-based sources are the main source of marine plastic pollution, although field data to substantiate these estimates remain limited. Current methodologies to measure riverine plastic transport require the availability of infrastructure and accessible riverbanks, but, to obtain measurements on a higher spatial and temporal scale, new monitoring methods are required. This paper presents a new methodology for quantifying riverine plastic debris using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), including a first application on Klang River, Malaysia. Additional plastic measurements were done in parallel with the UAV-based approach to make comparisons between the two methods. The spatiotemporal distribution of the plastics obtained with both methods show similar patterns and variations. With this, we show that UAV-based monitoring methods are a promising alternative for currently available approaches for monitoring riverine plastic transport, especially in remote and inaccessible areas.",
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Riverine plastic litter monitoring using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). / Geraeds, Marlein; van Emmerik, Tim; de Vries, Robin; bin Ab Razak, Mohd Shahrizal.

In: Remote Sensing, Vol. 11, No. 17, 2045, 30.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Riverine plastic litter monitoring using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

AU - Geraeds, Marlein

AU - van Emmerik, Tim

AU - de Vries, Robin

AU - bin Ab Razak, Mohd Shahrizal

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AB - Plastic debris has become an abundant pollutant in marine, coastal and riverine environments, posing a large threat to aquatic life. Effective measures to mitigate and prevent marine plastic pollution require a thorough understanding of its origin and eventual fate. Several models have estimated that land-based sources are the main source of marine plastic pollution, although field data to substantiate these estimates remain limited. Current methodologies to measure riverine plastic transport require the availability of infrastructure and accessible riverbanks, but, to obtain measurements on a higher spatial and temporal scale, new monitoring methods are required. This paper presents a new methodology for quantifying riverine plastic debris using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), including a first application on Klang River, Malaysia. Additional plastic measurements were done in parallel with the UAV-based approach to make comparisons between the two methods. The spatiotemporal distribution of the plastics obtained with both methods show similar patterns and variations. With this, we show that UAV-based monitoring methods are a promising alternative for currently available approaches for monitoring riverine plastic transport, especially in remote and inaccessible areas.

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