Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-261
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-261

  30 Oct 2020

30 Oct 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Brief communication: Atmospheric dry deposition of microplastics and mesoplastics in an Antarctic glacier: The case of the expanded polystyrene

Miguel González-Pleiter1,2, Gissell Lacerot3, Carlos Edo1, Juan Pablo-Lozoya4, Francisco Leganés2, Francisca Fernández-Piñas2, Roberto Rosal1, and Franco Teixeira-de-Mello5 Miguel González-Pleiter et al.
  • 1Department of Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Alcala, Alcalá de Henares, E-28871 Madrid, Spain
  • 2Departament of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid, Spain
  • 3Ecología Funcional de Sistemas Acuáticos, Centro Universitario Regional del Este, Universidad de la República, Ruta nacional Nº9 y ruta Nº15, 27000 Rocha, Uruguay
  • 4Centro Interdisciplinario de Manejo Costero Integrado del Cono Sur (C-MCISur), CURE (UDELAR), Tacuarembó entre Av. Artigas y Aparicio Saravia, 20000 Maldonado, Uruguay
  • 5Departamento de Ecología Teórica y Aplicada, Centro Universitario Regional del Este (CURE, UDELAR), Tacuarembó entre Av. Artigas y Aparicio Saravia, 20000 Maldonado, Uruguay

Abstract. Plastics have been found in marine water and sediments, sea ice, marine invertebrates, and penguins in Antarctica; however, there is no evidence of their presence in Antarctic glaciers. Our pilot study investigated plastic occurrence on two ice surfaces that constitute part of the ablation zone of Collins Glacier (King George Island, Antarctica). Our results showed concentrations of expanded polystyrene (EPS) in the 0.17–0.33 items m−2 range. We registered an atmospheric dry deposition between 0.08 and 0.17 items m−2 day−1 (February 2019). This is the first report of plastic presence in an Antarctic glacier, which was probably transported by wind.

Miguel González-Pleiter et al.

 
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Miguel González-Pleiter et al.

Miguel González-Pleiter et al.

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Plastics have been found in marine water and sediments, sea ice, marine invertebrates, and penguins in Antarctica; however, there is no evidence of their presence in Antarctic glaciers. Our pilot study investigated plastic occurrence on two ice surfaces that constitute part of the ablation zone of Collins Glacier (King George Island, Antarctica). Our results showed the presence of plastic in an Antarctic glacier, which was probably transported by wind.