DEL019 1220973 Modelling study for southwest region of Tsushima island

Aanleiding van het project

This project takes place in the context of the initiative of The Ocean Cleanup (TOC) to test and develop their concepts to achieve the goal of removing large quantities of floating plastic from the world’s Oceans.
As an intermediate step before designing, installing and operating a large floating barrier to collect floating trash in the deeper waters of the Pacific gyre, TOC wishes to test their design and equipment on a smaller “coastal pilot”. This coastal pilot is being planned for the southwest coast of Tsushima island (Japan), which is severely affected by floating trash problems and where TOC has the support of local authorities.
TOC has asked Deltares to study in detail the coastal circulation affecting the area pre-selected for the test-barrier.

Doel van het project

The main objective of the project is to improve the quality of marine and estuarine ecosystems that are currently under stress due to current unacceptable levels of pollution by improving our knowledge about the interactions between floating trash and floating barriers. This is connected directly to the Delta Technology Innovation Agenda under the specific topic of “reduction of floating trash, microplastics and underwater sound”. The project stimulates the development of an innovative solution from a Dutch company to show that it works in practice. This will attract more international contracts in other regions around the world where sensitive ecosystems need to be protected. This project aims to reduce the uncertainties associated with this innovation by further developing capabilities in computer modelling with respect to particle-tracking functionality and validating this with measured data from the pilot project.

Omschrijving van de activiteiten

‘- Develop and test new processes for moving barriers in Deltares open-source particle-tracking software (Delft3D-PART)
– Develop procedures / strategies use in applied projects, such as the Tsushima pilot for TOC.
– Demonstrate the effectiveness of the new modelling approach using data from the pilot project.

Verwachte resultaten

• New software processes – to be included in Deltares Open Source Software. This will be available to users all over the world that are looking for modelling support for ecosystem restoration problems.
• Test case of the software with a practical application to assist TOC in finding optimal locations for their barrier.
• Documentation of the key mechanisms, method of implementation in the software, and verification using measured data from pilot project.
• Methods/approach for conducting similar simulations, including floating pollution (be it oil, trash, etc), which will help all users of the software worldwide to improve their own modelling capabilities.
It is the intention of TOC to continue this cooperation to test and implement their trash barrier at multiple locations around the world.


The use of the TOC floating barrier to capture floating trash is an innovative application of the floating boom technology that has never been applied at field scale. The use of advanced modelling software to optimise the placement and operation of this system is equally innovative. A successful application of these techniques in this pilot project will demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach and provide opportunities to develop and test new applications of the approach more quickly and cost effectively.
The current ‘state of the art’ exists in software for oil spill modelling, including Delft3D-PART and RPS-ASA Oilmap, in which a static boom for collecting floating oil can be simulated. This project will build upon this modelling principle, but will allow the boom to move with tidal flow. New routines will be developed in the Delft3D open source software.


Project results in terms of software and documentation will be made available via the Deltares Open Source Software site:

Project results will be presented at conferences (e.g. Delft Software Days, and on TOC’s website ( through which the public is encouraged to contribute to the program and interested parties are encouraged to propose new pilots or areas of application.

Link naar projectresultaten…