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Although microplastics (MPs) are known to be found in global oceans, their influencing factors and abundance in the deep sea remain largely unknown. Twenty-six surface sediment samples were collected in the deep basin of the Eastern Indian Ocean (EIO). This study showed that MPs abundance ranged from 30.30 particles/kg to 701.7 particles/kg, with an average of 170.5 ± 140.2 particles/kg. The MPs found in the sediment of the EIO mainly contain fragments and fibers, which account for 47.5% and 45.6%. The MPs were measured in a size range of 44-5000 μm, and the most frequently detected MPs in size of 200-500 μm. MPs were in various compositions, but most of them were found in rayon (62.2%) and polyester (25.7%). The spatial distribution of MPs in the sediments shows a decreasing trend from nearshore to the open sea. In the Bay of Bengal (BOB) and the coast of Sri Lanka (COSL), the abundance of MPs was relatively high, indicating that the spatial distribution of MPs is affected by land source input, river input, and anthropogenic activities. Principal component analysis indicated daily commodities and packaging applications/fishing accounted for 36.9% and 12.9% of the MPs occurrence in the EIO, respectively. Average MPs diversity indices for the BOB (0.87 ± 0.38), the COSL (0.64 ± 0.56), and the Eastern Indian Ocean Basin (EIOB) (0.60 ± 0.24) revealed the BOB had the most complicated MPs sources. In addition, we found that the abundance of MPs has no significant effect on organic carbon and sediment grain size. This study is the first report of MPs detection in the deep-sea sediment in the EIO and can provide a baseline of MPs pollution in this area. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Huaiyuan Qi, Hongliang Li, Xiangliang Meng, Licheng Peng, Haowen Zheng, Lirong Wang, Weimin Wang, Kai Chen, Jingjing Zhang, Haifeng Zhang, Minggang Cai. Fate of microplastics in deep-sea sediments and its influencing factors: Evidence from the Eastern Indian Ocean. The Science of the total environment. 2022 Jul 01;828:154266

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PMID: 35248633

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