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Identification of tidal trapping of microplastics in a temperate salt marsh system using sea surface microlayer sampling

Identification of tidal trapping of microplastics in a temperate salt marsh system using sea surface microlayer sampling
Identification of tidal trapping of microplastics in a temperate salt marsh system using sea surface microlayer sampling
Microplastics are contaminants of increasing global environmental concern. Estuaries are a major transport pathway for land-derived plastics to the open ocean but are relatively understudied compared to coastal and open marine environments. The role of the “estuarine filter”, by which the supply of sediments and contaminants to the sea is moderated by processes including vegetative trapping and particle flocculation, remains poorly defined for microplastics land to sea transfer. Here, we focus on the sea surface microlayer (SML) as a vector for microplastics, and use SML sampling to assess microplastic trapping in a temperate marsh system in Southampton Water, UK. The SML is known to concentrate microplastics relative to the underlying water and is the first part of rising tidal waters to traverse intertidal and upper tidal surfaces. Sampling a salt marsh creek at high temporal resolution allowed assessment of microplastics in-wash and outflow from the salt marsh, and its relationship with tidal state and bulk suspended sediment concentrations (SSC), over spring and neap tides. A statistically significant decrease in microplastics abundance from the flood tide to the ebb tide was found, and a weak positive relationship with SSC observed.
2045-2322
Stead, Jessica Laura
abd3bc01-cf97-4692-a191-cd3ce2fb79f7
Cundy, Andrew
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Hudson, Malcolm
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Thompson, Charlotte
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Williams, Ian
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22
Russell, Andrea E.
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Pabortsava, Katsiaryna
bb9c573c-918c-4bc5-ad41-f85e47a6a580
Stead, Jessica Laura
abd3bc01-cf97-4692-a191-cd3ce2fb79f7
Cundy, Andrew
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Hudson, Malcolm
1ae18506-6f2a-48af-8c72-83ab28679f55
Thompson, Charlotte
2a304aa6-761e-4d99-b227-cedb67129bfb
Williams, Ian
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22
Russell, Andrea E.
b6b7c748-efc1-4d5d-8a7a-8e4b69396169
Pabortsava, Katsiaryna
bb9c573c-918c-4bc5-ad41-f85e47a6a580

Stead, Jessica Laura, Cundy, Andrew, Hudson, Malcolm, Thompson, Charlotte, Williams, Ian, Russell, Andrea E. and Pabortsava, Katsiaryna (2020) Identification of tidal trapping of microplastics in a temperate salt marsh system using sea surface microlayer sampling. Scientific Reports, 10, [14147]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-020-70306-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Microplastics are contaminants of increasing global environmental concern. Estuaries are a major transport pathway for land-derived plastics to the open ocean but are relatively understudied compared to coastal and open marine environments. The role of the “estuarine filter”, by which the supply of sediments and contaminants to the sea is moderated by processes including vegetative trapping and particle flocculation, remains poorly defined for microplastics land to sea transfer. Here, we focus on the sea surface microlayer (SML) as a vector for microplastics, and use SML sampling to assess microplastic trapping in a temperate marsh system in Southampton Water, UK. The SML is known to concentrate microplastics relative to the underlying water and is the first part of rising tidal waters to traverse intertidal and upper tidal surfaces. Sampling a salt marsh creek at high temporal resolution allowed assessment of microplastics in-wash and outflow from the salt marsh, and its relationship with tidal state and bulk suspended sediment concentrations (SSC), over spring and neap tides. A statistically significant decrease in microplastics abundance from the flood tide to the ebb tide was found, and a weak positive relationship with SSC observed.

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Stead_EstuarineFilter - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 23 July 2020
Published date: 24 August 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443228
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443228
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: ba3cfdca-f29e-49a9-b0a6-90773948ba1d
ORCID for Andrew Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569
ORCID for Ian Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0121-1219
ORCID for Andrea E. Russell: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8382-6443

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Date deposited: 18 Aug 2020 16:30
Last modified: 23 Oct 2020 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Andrew Cundy ORCID iD
Author: Malcolm Hudson
Author: Ian Williams ORCID iD
Author: Katsiaryna Pabortsava

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