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Plastics in sedimentary environments – The global plastic pollution crisis and what we know about this new and ubiquitous sediment particle

24.10.2022, 13:15 Uhr
MARUM Research Seminar
MARUM I, 2070

Florian Pohl

University of Plymouth

The threat posed by plastic pollution to ecosystems and human health is under increasing scrutiny and the amount of mismanaged plastic waste entering the environment is growing at a staggering rate. In particular microplastics (plastic pieces <5 mm in size) have been discovered in every sedimentary system on the planet and thus became a new type of sediment particle. As such, sedimentology represents an important and powerful tool to understand and predict the transport, dispersal, and ultimate fate of microplastics in different environments. However, due to the complex shapes and low densities the transport and sedimentation behavior of this new sediment particle may differ significantly from those of natural sediments. The presence of microplastics in the environments poses new challenges for the field of sedimentology, but may also provide opportunities to better understand the dynamics of sedimentary systems. In this talk I will provide an overview on global plastic-pollution, microplastic as a new and unique sediment particle, and on microplastics in seafloor sediments.

Florian Pohl
Florian Pohl