Prevalence of High-density Microplastics in Continental Shelf and Deep Sea Waters of East Asia

Title
Prevalence of High-density Microplastics in Continental Shelf and Deep Sea Waters of East Asia
Author(s)
Eo, Soeun; Hong, Sang Hee; Song, Young Kyoung; Han, Gi Myung; Seo, Seongbong; Shim, Won Joon
KIOST Author(s)
Eo, Soeun(어소은)Hong, Sang Hee(홍상희)Song, Young Kyoung(송영경)Han, Gi Myung(한기명)Seo, Seongbong(서성봉)Shim, Won Joon(심원준)
Alternative Author(s)
어소은; 홍상희; 송영경; 한기명; 서성봉; 심원준
Publication Year
2021-05-05
Abstract
Microplastics are widely distributed throughout aquatic environments. Information about the vertical distribution and fate of microplastics in seawater remains limited. To elucidate the vertical distribution of microplastics, three to six vertical water column layers were sampled based on the thermocline depth, from which the vertical distribution and characteristics of microplastics larger than 20 μm were investigated in continental shelf and deep-sea waters around South Korea. In addition, microplastics incorporated into marine aggregates (aggregated fraction) were investigated to determine the contribution of aggregates to vertical transport of microplastics. The abundance of microplastics was in the range of 15– 9400 particles/m³. No consistent trend was observed in the overall vertical profiles. The size, shape and polymer compositions of microplastics at each station were generally comparable throughout the water column. Unexpectedly, high-density (HD; >1.02 g/cm³) polymers accounted for an average of 73% of total microplastics. As polymer density increased, the proportion of microplastics less than 100 μm in size increased. Due to the relatively high proportion of HD polymers in offshore waters, high-density solution should be used to extract microplastics, even from surface seawaters. The aggregated fraction accounted for 0–28.6% (average, 3.4%) of total microplastics. Marine aggregates are considered an important mechanism of transport for microplastics less dense than seawater to the deep water column, but they showed lower proportions than expected in continental shelf and deep-sea waters around South Korea.
URI
https://sciwatch.kiost.ac.kr/handle/2020.kiost/41440
Bibliographic Citation
SETAC Europe 31st Annual Meeting, pp.61, 2021
Publisher
SETAC
Type
Conference
Language
English
Publisher
SETAC
Related Researcher
Research Interests

Microplastic pollution,Persistent Organic Pollutants,Oil Pollution,미세플라스틱 오염,잔류성 유기오염물질,유류오염

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