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Distribution of microplastic colour and count in the Crocodile River, South Africa

Umlauf, Maria LU (2019) In Student thesis series INES NGEK01 20191
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to establish sources for microplastic fibres and fragments based on the presence of specific colours (I) within different land use classes and (II) in relation to the location of wastewater treatment plants. Most of the colours did not result in significantly different counts between the land use classes, except for black fragments, which resulted in significantly higher counts in urban environments compared to natural environments. Since sampling was conducted in the rainy season, run-off from roads that introduces tyre wear in the form of black fragments to the river systems can be assumed to be a source for microplastic pollution that has been previously mentioned in papers, but not yet investigated. Other... (More)
The aim of this paper was to establish sources for microplastic fibres and fragments based on the presence of specific colours (I) within different land use classes and (II) in relation to the location of wastewater treatment plants. Most of the colours did not result in significantly different counts between the land use classes, except for black fragments, which resulted in significantly higher counts in urban environments compared to natural environments. Since sampling was conducted in the rainy season, run-off from roads that introduces tyre wear in the form of black fragments to the river systems can be assumed to be a source for microplastic pollution that has been previously mentioned in papers, but not yet investigated. Other colours showed a similar pattern as black fragments but did not result in significantly different counts between the land use classes, indicating that with more sampling points these patterns could become statistically significant. The location of wastewater treatment plants did not influence colour counts, most likely due to the spatial distribution of sampling points, which were not positioned adequately for this testing. Further research is needed on the influence of river dynamics on the amounts of microplastics sampled on the sides of the river/at the centre of the channel, as well as investigations into emission of microplastics from sewage sludge, which has been applied to agricultural fields. (Less)
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author
Umlauf, Maria LU
supervisor
organization
course
NGEK01 20191
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Microplastic, Colour, Freshwater, Crocodile River, Sources
publication/series
Student thesis series INES
report number
474
language
English
id
8982501
date added to LUP
2019-06-12 14:18:59
date last changed
2019-06-12 14:18:59
@misc{8982501,
  abstract     = {The aim of this paper was to establish sources for microplastic fibres and fragments based on the presence of specific colours (I) within different land use classes and (II) in relation to the location of wastewater treatment plants. Most of the colours did not result in significantly different counts between the land use classes, except for black fragments, which resulted in significantly higher counts in urban environments compared to natural environments. Since sampling was conducted in the rainy season, run-off from roads that introduces tyre wear in the form of black fragments to the river systems can be assumed to be a source for microplastic pollution that has been previously mentioned in papers, but not yet investigated. Other colours showed a similar pattern as black fragments but did not result in significantly different counts between the land use classes, indicating that with more sampling points these patterns could become statistically significant. The location of wastewater treatment plants did not influence colour counts, most likely due to the spatial distribution of sampling points, which were not positioned adequately for this testing. Further research is needed on the influence of river dynamics on the amounts of microplastics sampled on the sides of the river/at the centre of the channel, as well as investigations into emission of microplastics from sewage sludge, which has been applied to agricultural fields.},
  author       = {Umlauf, Maria},
  keyword      = {Microplastic,Colour,Freshwater,Crocodile River,Sources},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Student thesis series INES},
  title        = {Distribution of microplastic colour and count in the Crocodile River, South Africa},
  year         = {2019},
}