EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Assessment of seasonal variability of input of microplastics from the Northern Dvina River to the Arctic ocean.

Igor Zhdanov1, Alexei Lokhov1, Artem Belesov2, Alexander Kozhevnikov2, Svetlana Pakhomova1,3, Anfisa Berezina1,4, and Evgeniy Yakushev1,3
Igor Zhdanov et al.
  • 1Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; (
  • 2Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Arkhangelsk, Russia
  • 3Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 4St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg, Russia

The flowing into the White Sea Northern Dvina River is the largest river in the European Arctic, and in contrast to other Arctic rivers, it runs through the populated regions with developed industry. Observations on seasonal variability of microplastics were organized in the Northern Dvina River mouth. The samples were collected every month from September to November 2019 and from May to October 2020 with a Neuston net that was togged 3 nautical miles in the Korbel’nyy Branch of the River delta. Surface plastic with dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 5 mm was analyzed. Chemical composition of the plastic particles was determined using an FT-IR spectrometery in Norway (Oslo) and Russia (Arkhangelsk). The majority of the microplastics were identified as polyethylene (PE) 52.63%, followed by polypropylene (PP) 36.84% and Ethylene Ethyl Acrylate Copolymer (EEA) 10.53%.  It was found that the average concentration of microplastics was 0.0054 items/m3, that is close to the average concentration of surface microplastics observed in the in the open Barents Sea, 0.005 items/m3 (Yakushev et al. 2021). No detectable seasonal variability of the microplastics content in the waters of the Northern Dvina was found. With an assumption that the concentration of microplastics is the same in all the depths, we can assess how the amount of delivering to the sea microplastics changes throughout the year. The microplastics input rate during the spring flood period in May turned out to be maximum, 37.76 items/second. The minimum input rate can be in September with a value of to 5.28 items/second. The data obtained allow us to conclude that the Northern Dvina River is be one of the main sources of microplastic pollution of the White and Barents Seas. This work was partly funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment project RUS-19/0001 “Establish regional capacity to measure and model the distribution and input of microplastics to the Barents Sea from rivers and currents (ESCIMO)” and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, research projects 19-55-80004.

How to cite: Zhdanov, I., Lokhov, A., Belesov, A., Kozhevnikov, A., Pakhomova, S., Berezina, A., and Yakushev, E.: Assessment of seasonal variability of input of microplastics from the Northern Dvina River to the Arctic ocean., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15650,, 2021.

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