JOURNAL ARTICLE

Small plastic debris changes water movement and heat transfer through beach sediments

Henry S Carson, Steven L Colbert, Matthew J Kaylor, Karla J McDermid
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2011, 62 (8): 1708-13
21700298
We investigated the physical properties of beaches contaminated with plastic fragments. We compared sediment cores from Hawai'i Island's Kamilo Beach, notable for plastic accumulation, to cores from a nearby beach. Compared to the nearby beach, Kamilo sediments contained more plastics (up to 30.2% by weight), were coarser-grained, and were more permeable (t-test, p<0.0001). 85% of the fragments were polyethylene, and 95% were concentrated in the top 15 cm of the cores. We constructed artificial cores of standardized grain size and varying plastic-to-sediment ratios. Adding plastic significantly increased the permeability (ANOVA, p=0.002), which was partially attributed to the fragments increasing the mean grain size. Sediments with plastic warmed more slowly (16% maximum decrease in thermal diffusivity), and reached lower maximum temperatures (21% maximum increase in heat capacity). These changes have a variety of potential effects on beach organisms, including those with temperature-dependent sex-determination such as sea turtle eggs.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
21700298
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"