The method of studying microplastics pollution in the beach and bottom sediments of different granulometric composition

N. Sibirtsova1, I.V. Agarkova-Lyakh2

1 The A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological Research of RAS, RF, Sevastopol, Nakhimov Av., 2


2Institute of Natural and Technical Systems, RF, Sevastopol, Lenin St., 28


DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2019-1-136-145

UDC 504.054 [551.435.322+504.422]           


   When studying microplastic pollution of bottom and beach sediments, the problem of unification of sampling and processing methods remains an urgent issue, as there is still no uniform system of criteria in this area. For standardization of the applied methods of assessment of microplastic pollution of beach and bottom sediments it is necessary to elaborate the uniform system of criteria. According to the authors of this work, one of the criteria can be the granulometric composition of sediments, which is taken into account only in single works of foreign and domestic researchers.

   The original method of estimating microplastic pollution of beach and bottom sediments is proposed. The method is based on a comprehensive study of the microplastic pollution and the composition of the beach and bottom sediments of the sea coastal zone. The method includes the following steps: selection of the study area, sampling and microplastic analysis of the samples, granulometric analysis of the samples, analysis and interpretation of the data obtained and formulation of final conclusions. The standard scheme of carrying out the granulometric analysis of sediments is adapted for the conditions of possible existence of microplastic particles in samples.

   Currently, this technique is being tested in the coastal zone of the Crimean Peninsula. As the study areas, the beaches of Sevastopol located in bays and on the open coast differing in granular composition of sediments, hydrodynamic regime and experiencing recreational load were selected. In the process of applying the methodology in the field and laboratory conditions, methods of sampling of beach-bottom sediments and their processing for studying the microplastic pollution of the sea coastal zone will be developed and improved.

Кeywords: microplastic, mesoplastic, coastal zone, cone quartering, granulometric composition,  screen test, the Black Sea, the Crimean coast.

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