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Microplastic contamination in east Antarctic sea ice
The durability of plastics in the marine environment has led to concerns regarding the pervasiveness of this debris in remote polar habitats. Microplastic (MP) enrichment in East Antarctic sea ice was measured in one ice core sampled from coastal land-fast sea ice. The core was processed and filtered material was analyzed using micro Fourier-Transform Infrared (μFTIR) spectroscopy. 96 MP particles were identified, averaging 11.71 particles L−1. The most common MP polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyamide) were consistent with those most frequently represented in the majority of marine MP studies. Sea-ice MP concentrations were positively related with chlorophyll a, suggesting living biomass could assist in incorporating MPs in sea ice. Our preliminary results indicate that sea ice has the potential to serve as a reservoir for MP debris in the Southern Ocean, which may have consequences for Southern Ocean food webs and biogeochemistry.
Publication titleMarine Pollution Bulletin
Department/SchoolInstitute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
PublisherPergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Place of publicationThe Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb
Rights statement© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.