Microplastic inventory in sediment profile: A case study of Golden Horn Estuary, Sea of Marmara

Belivermis M., Kilic O., Sezer N., Sikdokur E., Gungor N., Altug G.

MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, vol.173, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 173
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113117
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Microplastic, Pollution, Sediment core, Radiodating, Cs-137, Pb-210, Nile red staining, 20 MU-M, NILE RED, METAL POLLUTION, MARINE, QUANTIFICATION, BOSPORUS, BEACHES
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Assessment of microplastics (MPs) in sediment cores is necessary to unveil global plastic pollution since most of the plastic litter might have been stored in sediment columns. In the current study, MPs inventory was determined in a 105 cm sediment core, collected in the Golden Horn Estuary, Sea of Marmara. Radiodating of sediment profile by using naturally occurring Pb-210 and fission product Cs-137 allowed us to couple the retrospective of global MP production to sediment MPs inventory. More than 90% of total MPs inventory was found in the deep layer of the sediment column (below 15 cm). Small MPs (20-200 mu m) were more abundant than large ones (200-4000 mu m). Elevated concentrations of MPs were attributed to industrial and municipal effluent of Istanbul metropolitan. On a local scale, this study suggests that the Golden Horn Estuary was polluted with MPs before the 1950s, and the abundance of MPs reached a maximum in the 1980s. We also propose on a global scale that "the missing" plastics might have been buried in deep sediment and radiodating of sediment is useful to reveal their historical input records.