Hydrometeorological assessments of the transport of microplastic pellets in the Eastern Mediterranean


Gündoğdu S., Ayat Aydoğan B. , Aydoğan B., Çevik C., Karaca S.

Science Of The Total Environment, vol.823, pp.1-16, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 823
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153676
  • Title of Journal : Science Of The Total Environment
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-16

Abstract

Microplastic pellets were sampled in May and November 2018 during one-week surveys at 13 coastal beaches in Isken-

derun Bay/Turkey. Pellet pollution index (PPI) was calculated for the beaches as a tool to assess beach pollution by

microplastic pellets. Hydrometeorological conditions, including wind, current, wave, surface run-off, and precipita-

tion, were examined during 2018 to reveal the effect on the transport of microplastic pellets within the study area.

Sea-surface heights, including the astronomical tide and the storm surge and the wave runup heights, were also con-

sidered in the analysis to study the extent of hydrodynamic forcing on the beach. Hydrometeorological assessments

indicated that the pellet concentrations in the coastal zone are mostly related to wind-induced transport. Three

major river discharges are considered as the main source of microplastic pellets effluents. A Lagrangian particle trans-

port model was conducted to reveal the possible beaching hotspots of microplastic pellets released from these river

mouths. Average microplastic pellets were calculated as 126.04 ± 54.08 items/m2 for May 2018 and 70.22 ±

18.25 items/m2 for November 2018. An overall mean PPI for May 2018 was calculated as 1.13, indicating a moderate

degree of pellet pollution, and 0.56 for November 2018, indicating a low degree of pellet pollution. The simulations

showed that Orontes River effluents affected the inner Iskenderun Bay coasts more than the Seyhan and Ceyhan River.