Microplastics pollution monitoring in bottom sediments of the Sevastopol region recreation zones

E.N. Sibirtsova, A.V. Temnykh, M.I. Silakov

A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas of RAS,  RF, Sevastopol, Nakhimov Av., 2

E-mail: elenasibircova@yandex.ru

DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2021-4-91-101

UDC [551.351:628.4.043](262.5)


   A study of the concentration of microplastic pollution (MP) in the bottom sediments of the water areas of the Sevastopol region in 2018–2020 was carried out. The objects of research were popular beaches located in the vicinity of Sevastopol and equipped with the appropriate infrastructure: tent areas, rescue stations, showers, toilets, attractions, etc. These beaches were designated as recreation zones (RZ). Two beaches with coastal morphology, convenient for entering the water, but with the absence of any infrastructure and a massive flow of tourists, were chosen as control areas (CA). Samples were taken using a manual bottom grab with a capture area of 0.04 m2 in duplicate at a distance of 2, 10, 20, and 50 m from the water edge.

   An increase in MP was registered practically in all areas. The maximum values ​​of the increase in the concentration of MH 5.5–6 times in bottom sediments were recorded on beaches with open water area and park-natural adjacent territory, as well as in the control area located near the mouth of the Chernaya River. The average values of MP concentration in the RZ and CA were 13.4 and 9.0 items∙kg-1 (dry weight), respectively. As for the shape of microplastics (MPs) particles, the maximum share was made up by fragments (50–83%), fibers were also numerous (33%). Granules and pellets accounted for no more than 10%. A significant increase in the concentration of MP on the 0–20 m section from the water edge of the underwater coastal slope was recorded in areas with an open water area and presence of a cliff. The revealed level of MP is comparable to that in the Mediterranean, Caspian, Baltic Seas, but an order of magnitude lower than in other regions of the World Ocean.

Keywords: microplastics, plastic litter, underwater coastal slope, aquatic area, beaches, Black Sea.

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