Tying up Loose Ends of Microplastic Pollution in the Arctic: Distribution from the Sea Surface through the Water Column to Deep-Sea Sediments at the HAUSGARTEN Observatory

Mine B. Tekman*, Claudia Wekerle, Claudia Lorenz, Sebastian Primpke, Christiane Hasemann, Gunnar Gerdts, Melanie Bergmann

*Corresponding author

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Recent studies have shown that despite its remoteness, the Arctic region harbors some of the highest microplastic (MP) concentrations worldwide. Here, we present the results of a sampling campaign to assess the vertical distribution of MP particles (>11 μm) at five stations of the HAUSGARTEN observatory. Water column samples were taken with large volume pumps by filtering 218-561 L of seawater at two to four depth strata (near-surface, ∼300 m, ∼1000 m, and above seafloor), and sediment samples were taken with a multiple corer. MP concentrations in the water column ranged between 0 and 1287 N m-3 and in the sediment from 239 to 13â»331 N kg-1. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) imaging with automated data analysis showed that polyamide (39%) and ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (23%) were the most abundant polymers within the water samples and polyethylene-chlorinated (31%) in sediments. MPs ≤ 25 μm accounted for more than half of the synthetic particles in every sample. The largest MP particle recorded was in the 200 μm size class. The concentrations of fibers were not reported, as fiber detection by FTIR imaging was not available at the time of analyses. Two- A nd three-dimensional simulations of particle transport trajectories suggest different pathways for certain polymer types. A positive correlation between MP size composition and particulate organic carbon indicates interactions with biological processes in the water column.

TidsskriftEnvironmental Science & Technology (Washington)
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)4079-4090
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 1 mar. 2020
Udgivet eksterntJa

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