Thermohaline currents are dissipated of microplastics on the ocean floor

In the coastal zone of micro-plastic particles picked up by thermohaline currents and associated sediments of contourites at a depth of 600-800 meters. In the open sea these currents can dissipate of microplastics on the way, it passes through the region of accumulation of the bottom inhabitants and ensures their supply of nutrients. If the habitat at the bottom are poisoned microplastics, it will seriously damage the biodiversity of all the World’s oceans, write the scientists in the journal Science.

Annually in the World’s oceans gets no less than eight million tonnes of plastic, 13.5 percent of which comprise particles smaller than one millimeter. Only one-hundredth part of this amount remains on the surface of the water, and everything else gets deeper, and further movement of the micro-plastic remain unknown. Previously, scientists assumedthat these parts fall to the bottom under the place falling into the ocean, where contact with sediments, and also pointed to the important role in distribution of marine organisms: they are swallowing micro-plastic particles and can carry them over long distances.

Scientists led by Ian Kane (Kane Ian A.) from University of Manchester conducted a study of the stratification of the micro-plastic in the water column and sediments off the coast of the Tyrrhenian sea (Western coast of Italy). As they considered micro-plastic particles smaller than one millimetre (although most often, this category includes all plastic debris, the size of which does not exceed five millimeters.

Oceanographers were selected sediment and water from different depths to assess the distribution of micro-plastic in the coastal zone and to identify the main factors of its movement.

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