17.08.2019 - 11.09.2019

Institution: GEOMAR
Chief scientist: Mark Lenz

The proposed cruise is part of a research initiative of GEOMAR investigating the origin, transport and fate of plastic debris in the oceanic garbage patches. The focus will be on the vertical transfer of plastic from the surface to the deep sea and on the involved processes. The obtained data will help to develop quantitative models that assess the level of plastic pollution in the open ocean (surface, water column, seafloor). Furthermore, the effects of plastic on open ocean ecosystems will be assessed. The cruise will provide data about the: (1) abundance and composition of plastic at different depths from the sea surface to the seafloor including the sediment, (2) abundance and composition of plastic in organic aggregates, in pelagic and benthic organisms and in fecal pellets, (4) abundance and identity of biofoulers (bacteria, protozoans, metazoans) on the surface of plastic, (5) identification of chemical compounds in the plastic debris and in water samples.

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