Spatial variation of floatable plastic debris and microplastics in the Pearl River Estuary, South China

Theresa Wing Ling LAM, Lincoln FOK, Lang LIN, Qun XIE, Heng-Xiang LI, Xiang-Rong XU, Ling Chun YEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

The estuaries of populated catchments have been documented as hotspots of plastic pollution. In this study, microplastics (0.355–5.0 mm) and large plastic debris (>5.0 mm) of surface water collected from the Inner Lingding Bay of the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) were quantified and categorized according to their size, shape, colour and composition. Both microplastics and large plastic debris were detected at all sampling sites with mean abundances of 2.376 ± 0.700 n/m³ and 0.110 ± 0.039 n/m³, respectively. Microplastics constitute 95.4% of the total abundance by number. The average microplastic concentration in the inner PRE was almost 3.5 times higher than that in the central PRE, indicating a positive correlation between plastic concentration and proximity to the river mouth. This result reveals the important role of rivers in transporting plastic debris from land to the oceans. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111383
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume158
Early online dateJul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Citation

Lam, T. W. L., Fok, L., Lin, L., Xie, Q., Li, H.-X., Xu, X.-R., & Yeung, L. C. (2020). Spatial variation of floatable plastic debris and microplastics in the Pearl River Estuary, South China. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 158. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111383

Keywords

  • Microplastics
  • Floatable plastic debris
  • Spatial variation
  • Surface waters
  • Estuary
  • South China

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