Microplastic particles in the Atlantic Ocean

Monday, January 4, 2021

JPIOceans SO279 research cruise

On the 4th of December 2020 the German research vessel Sonne left the harbor of Emden towards a one-month, “Christmas expedition” in the North Atlantic Gyre.

This is the second research campaign organized within the HOTMIC consortium, which aims to study the distribution and impacts of Microplastic particles in the Atlantic Ocean.

The beginning of the 3rd week started relatively smoothly, with 6 out of 8 stations completed and half of the time spent on transiting. T

he interdisciplinary campaign is successfully collecting water samples, gelatinous organisms, sediment cores and video footages of the seabed, with a focus on deep sea (stations depth up to 5500 m). UGent is particularly collecting sediment samples from boxcorers both for the characterization of the macro- and meiofauna communities and the study of microplastics in association to such organisms.

The crew now approaches the hotspot of the expedition, closer to the Atlantic Gyre and supposedly higher concentration of plastics. Today they analyzed an incredible amount of Sargassum collected using a catamaran trawl, looking for plastics entangled within the seaweed.

If you want to know more and have a closer look at what is happening on the SO279 cruise, click on the links below:



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