Microplastics in sediment deposited along the Seine River after a major flood event (February 2021) - Université Gustave Eiffel Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2023

Microplastics in sediment deposited along the Seine River after a major flood event (February 2021)


Depending on hydrodynamic conditions, river sediments act as a sinks or a sources of microplastics through deposition and remobilisation processes. During flood events, the increase of river flow leads to an increase in the resuspension of bottom sediments and bank erosion processes and favoring the microplastic transportation. Previous work conduced in the Seine river catchment in 2018 has shown that floods, which occur for only 15% of the annual time, contributed to 40% of the total microplastic flux. Therefore, at the end of a flood period, with the decreasing in water level, some flow regimes allow the deposition of contaminated sediments carried by the river on the banks. This study presents the characterization and quantification of microplastics in ten samples lag deposits collected along the Seine river after the February 2021 flood event. Microplastics from 10 to 500 µm were analysed in replicate samples using two methods (FTIR microspectroscopy and Pyr-GC/MS). In order to characterize the origin of the sampled sedimentary deposits a fingerprinting approach based on the measurement of radionuclides activity was carried out. A mixing model was applied to discriminate old and recent sediments and their origin from the surface (e.g. soil erosion) or subsurface (e.g. bank erosion). High concentration levels of microplastics, ranging from 8,000 to 50,000 items/kg, were observed mainly characterised by FTIR microspectroscopy as PP, PE, PS and PVC. All the samples analysed show a similar size distribution with a majority of particles below 100 µm. PP is the most abundant polymer found. The quantification by Pyr-GC/MS provided masses consistent with microspectroscopy results ranging from 200 to 14,000 µg PP/kg of dry sediment. An increase in microplastic contamination between the upstream and the downstream part of the Paris area was observed. In this study, the relationships between sediment characteristics and microplastic contamination could not be demonstrated. Further work is needed to verify whether a more marked relationship can be observed in major events where a clearer variation in sediment sources is observed between the upper and lower parts of the Paris area.
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Dates and versions

hal-04008464 , version 1 (28-02-2023)



Nadia Bouzid, Remi Bizeul, Anthony Foucher, Sophie Ayrault, Olivier Evrard, et al.. Microplastics in sediment deposited along the Seine River after a major flood event (February 2021). EGU General Assembly 2023, Apr 2023, Vienne (AUT), Austria. ⟨10.5194/egusphere-egu23-12562⟩. ⟨hal-04008464⟩
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