A rapid method for assessing the accumulation of microplastics in the sea surface microlayer (SML) of estuarine systems.
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Anderson, Zachary T.
Cundy, Andrew B.
Croudace, Ian W.
Warwick, Phillip E.
Stead, Jessica L.
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Microplastics are an increasingly important contaminant in the marine environment. Depending on their composition and degree of biofouling, many common microplastics are less dense than seawater and so tend to float at or near the ocean surface. As such, they may exhibit high concentrations in the sea surface microlayer (SML – the upper 1–1000 μm of the ocean) relative to deeper water. This paper examines the accumulation of microplastics, in particular microfibres, in the SML in two contrasting estuarine systems – the Hamble estuary and the Beaulieu estuary, southern U.K., via a novel and rapid SML-selective sampling method using a dipped glass plate. Microplastic concentrations (for identified fibres, of 0.05 to 4.5 mm length) were highest in the SML-selective samples (with a mean concentration of 43 ± 36 fibres/L), compared to <5 fibres/L for surface and sub-surface bulk water samples. Data collected show the usefulness of the dipped glass plate method as a rapid and inexpe.....
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)14
Best Practice TypeManual (incl. handbook, guide, cookbook etc)
Spatial CoverageR. Hamble Estuary
R. Beaulieu Estuary
CitationAnderson, Z.T.; Cundy, A.B.; Croudace, I.W.; Warwick, P.E.; Celis-Hernandez, O. and 2 & Stead, J.L. (2018) A rapid method for assessing the accumulation of microplastics in the sea surface microlayer (SML) of estuarine systems. Scientific Reports. 8, 9428. 11pp. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-27612-w
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