Distribution Features of Microplastic Particles in the Bolshiye Koty Bay (Lake Baikal, Russia) in Winter

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Institute of Biology, Irkutsk State University, Lenina 3, 664025 Irkutsk, Russia


The problem of pollution of aquatic ecosystems with microplastics has been actively studied by the world scientific community. Most of this research has been devoted to marine ecosystems, whereas scant research has been conducted on fresh water bodies. Lake Baikal (Russia) is a unique natural reservoir. Previous studies devoted to the amount of microplastics in the waters of Lake Baikal were carried out singularly and were not of a systemic character; therefore, previously obtained data does not reflect a complete picture of the state of the lake. Within the framework of this study, our goal was to study the composition and morphological structure of microplastic particles in the ice of Lake Baikal at different distances from the coastline. To do this, a number of ice samples were taken from the upper and lower sides at five different points in South Baikal opposite the village of Bolshiye Koty. Later these samples were analyzed for the types of microplastics and their amount. In the samples taken, two types of microplastics were found—fragments and fibers—with fibers being predominant. The median values of the number of microplastics particles are higher in samples taken at the interface between water and ice, compared to samples taken from the ice surface. Presumably, main part of microplastic fibers found opposite the village of Bolshiye Koty were brought in by a constant circular current from the opposite east coast. In turn, the low number of fragments in the samples may be due to the freezing of the coastline.


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