Articles | Volume 12, issue 4
Biogeosciences, 12, 1249–1256, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-1249-2015
Biogeosciences, 12, 1249–1256, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-1249-2015

Research article 26 Feb 2015

Research article | 26 Feb 2015

The vertical distribution of buoyant plastics at sea: an observational study in the North Atlantic Gyre

J. Reisser et al.

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AR by J. Reisser on behalf of the Authors (15 Feb 2015)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (16 Feb 2015) by Gerhard Herndl
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Short summary
Subsurface observations of ocean plastics are very scarce but essential for adequate estimates of marine plastic pollution levels. We sampled plastics from the sea surface to a depth of 5m, at 0.5m intervals. Vertical mixing was dependent on sea state and affected the abundance, mass, and sizes of plastic debris floating at the sea surface. This has important implications for studies assessing at-sea plastic load, size distribution, drifting pattern, and impact on marine species and habitats.
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