Microplastics in the Solent estuarine complex, UK: An initial assessment

Anthony Gallagher, A Rees, R Rowe, J Stevens, Paul Wright

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Microplastics are known to be an increasing component found within both marine sediments and the water column. This study carried out an initial assessment of the levels of microplastics present within the Solent estuarine complex, focusing specifically on the water column. A plankton net trawl survey was carried out, with samples analysed using visual observation and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR). The study identified significant quantities of plastics, ranging in shape, with hot spots found at confluence points within the estuary. Though the FT-IR analysis was inconclusive, the nature of the samples indicates the effect of oceanographic conditions on the prevalent types of microplastics found, which in turn identifies key local sources such as wastewater treatment plants and the plastics industry as being the dominant inputs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)243-249
    Number of pages6
    JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2015


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