[MIS30-08] Microplastics in marine sediments; examples from the Japan Trench and the Japan Sea
Keywords:Japan Trench, 2011 Tsunami, Japan Sea
One is from the Japan Trench. Kawamura et al. (2019; GS London) documents a possible abrupt microplastics depositional event in continental shelf and deep-sea environments triggered by a tsunami. The sediment layers contaminated by microplastics correspond with sedimentary horizons where 137Cs signals were measured, indicating deposition after 1960s nuclear tests. The microplastics were observed in the 2011 Tohoku-Oki tsunami deposits. Tsunamis can thus potentially contribute to the wide dispersal of microplastics from coastal to deep-sea areas, and these anthropogenic particles can be used to date very recent turbidite deposits.
The other is from the Japan Sea. Microplastics in marine sediments along the coastal regions were observed. These distribution patterns should be explained not by diffusion into water column, but by sedimentological processes.