The broad-scale microplastic distribution in surface water and sediments along Northeastern Mediterranean shoreline

Gedik K., Eryaşar A. R., Öztürk R. Ç., Mutlu E., Karaoğlu K., Şahin A., ...More

SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, vol.843, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 843
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157038
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Analytical Abstracts, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, MEDLINE, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Microplastic, Sediment, Surface seawater, The Mediterranean Sea, LEVANTINE COAST, PLASTIC DEBRIS, YELLOW SEA, BOHAI SEA, ABUNDANCE, POLLUTION, INVERTEBRATES, LITTER, AREA, NW
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Plastics manufactured to fulfil the unique demands of civilization accumulate in the sea due to their durability. Microplastics (MP) pose a greater threat than macroplastics as they can easily enter the aquatic environment and be hard to detect. MPs potentially impact several components of the marine life and food chain. This study determined MP distribution and characterization by collecting sediment from 47 different stations and surface seawater (SSW) from 29 stations in 2019 along the Turkish coast of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Potential MP particles were stained with Nile-Red and verified using ATR-FTIR. While MP abundance in the sediment ranged between 118 +/- 97 and 1688 +/- 746 MPs kg-1, it varied between 0.18 +/- 0.10 MPs m-3 and 2.21 +/- 1.75 MPs m-3 in SSW. The MP abundance showed significant spatial variation (p < 0.05). The polymer type in the samples was determined by ATR-FTIR. In both water and sediments, polyethylene was the most common MP type (>59 %), while fragment was the most common MP form (>57.6 %), and >65 % of overall MPs were <1500 mu m. The spatial pattern of MPs in the sediments and SSW was affected by the population, the magnitude of the tourism sector, the rim current, and circulation. The monitoring data presented here can provide a remarkable projection of the current trend and form a basis for future MP pollution prevention.