The role of oceanographic processes and sedimentological settings on the deposition of microplastics in marine sediment: Icelandic waters

Last modified: 
February 1, 2021 - 11:15am
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2021
Date published: 03/2021
Authors: Christine Loughlin, Ana Mendes, Liam Morrison, Audrey Morley
Journal title: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume: 164
Pages: 111976
ISSN: 0025326X

The global distribution of microplastic debris on the sea floor poses an increasing risk to marine organisms and ecosystems. Here, we present a distribution analysis of microplastics collected from eight marine multicores recovered from the Iceland continental shelf and surrounding areas at water depth between 241 and 1628 m. We report a total of 306 microplastics from the size range > 250 μm −5 mm, of which all were fibers. Microplastic numbers range between 0.119 and 0.768 per gram of dry sediments. In the analysis we assess the potential role of oceanic surface and bottom water currents, organic content, and sediment type on the distribution, deposition, and burial of microplastics in marine sediments. Our results provide the first record of microplastic pollution of marine sediments from the Iceland continental shelf and identify Atlantic Cod feeding and breeding grounds as potential hot spot for the accumulation of marine debris.

Freely available?: 
Summary available?: