Home » INTERNATIONAL MARINE LITTER DATABASE » Variation in plastic abundance at different lake beach zones – A case study

Hannes K. Imhof, Alexandra C. Wiesheu, Philipp M. Anger, Reinhard
Niessner, Natalia P. Ivleva, Christian Laforsch, Variation in plastic
abundance at different lake beach zones – A case study, Science of The
Total Environment, Volumes 613–614, 1 February 2018, Pages 530-537, ISSN

Plastic particles in marine and freshwater environments span from
macroscopic to microscopic size classes. Each may have a different
impact on individuals, populations and ecosystems, but still the wide
variety of methods used in beach sediment sampling inhibit comparisons
among studies and therefore hampers a risk assessment. A large portion
of the uncertainties is due to differing sampling strategies.

By quantifying the alongshore distribution of macro- and microplastic
particles within five beaches of Lake Garda, we aim to shed light on the
accumulation behavior of microplastic particles at an exemplary lake
which might give indications for potential sampling zones. The
identification of plastic at the single particle level with a spatial
resolution down to 1 μm was performed by Raman microspectroscopy. Given
the time consuming approach we reduced the number of samples in the
field but increased the spatial area where a single sample was taken, by
utilizing a transect approach in combination with sediment cores (5 cm

The study revealed that, in comparison to the water line and the
high-water line, the drift line of all five beaches always contained
plastic particles. Since the drift line accumulate particulate matter on
a relatively distinct zone, it will enable a comparable sampling of
microplastic particles. The applied sampling approach provided a
representative method for quantifying microplastic down to 1 μm on a
shore consisting of pebbles and sand. Hence, as first step towards a
harmonization of beach sediment sampling we suggest to perform sampling
at the drift line, although further methodological improvements are
still necessary.



Variation in plastic abundance at different lake beach zones – A case study

24. August 2020