OUC Made New Progress in Estuarine Fronts Studies

Recently, Prof. Jiang Wensheng's team from OUC’s Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Ecology (Ministry of Education), published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment under the title of “Accumulation, Transformation and Transport of Microplastics in Estuarine Fronts”, in cooperation with scholars from Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and other institutes. The paper illustrates potential effects and mechanisms of estuarine fronts on the transport and transformation of microplastics, providing a new perspective for the study of marine microplastics.

Estuaries are one of the main channels for the discharge of terrestrial plastic waste to the sea. Every year, nearly one million tons of plastic are discharged into the marine environment through rivers. The complex dynamic environment of estuaries may cause a series of complex changes in plastic, but these changes have not received enough attention. As a common phenomenon in estuaries, fronts are prone to gather marine organisms and pollutants, inducing a series of physical biogeochemical interaction processes. Based on the observation of estuaries around the world, this study summarized dynamic characteristics of estuarine fronts and their aggregation effects on microplastics, and proposed the potential impact and mechanism of fronts on microplastics. It also pointed out that the periodic estuarine front can be predicted by means of numerical simulation, thus providing a scientific basis for the study of microplastics and pollution prevention.

Translated by Piao Simeng

Edited by Xu Derong, Yu Hong