Details of Microplastic-like particles in sediments from Danish waters 2015


Dataset identification

Title of datasetMicroplastic-like particles in sediments from Danish waters 2015
Narrative summary of datasetContents and composition of microplastic-like particles have been analysed in ten sediment samples from the Danish part of the open North Sea and in the Inner Danish waters in 2015. The contents of microplastic-like particles in the size range 100-5000 µm were determined to be in the range of 192-3511 particles per kg dry weight sediment, dominated by blue and black coloured particles, mainly as fibres, and particle sizes < 300 µm were dominating.
Summary of processing methodology10 sediment samples from the North Sea consisting of ~50 ml (~100 g wet weight (ww)) were first chemically digested by two hours of thoroughly shaking with 100 ml of a solution (consisting of ~3 % potassium hydroxide, ~1 % potassium tripolyphosphate, ~1 % potassium silicate and ~7 % sodium hypochlorite, so dominant fractions of natural organic matter were decomposed. Similar treatment of different types of common plastic materials showed no larger external changes in the particle structure. This was followed density, separation by adding 100 ml of saturated saline solution, followed by ten minutes of shaking and consequently five minutes of ultrasonic treatment. The particles in the samples were allowed to settle for five minutes after each of the two steps. Pooled supernatant was filtered into six size fractions, i.e. 20-38, 38-100, 100-300, 300-1000 and 1000-5000 µm, by being flushed with filtered freshwater through the sediment test sieves (Retsch) placed on top of each according to decreasing mesh size. For each size fraction, particles retained on the test sieves and regarded as of synthetic origin were visually identified as microplastic-like particles based on their relatively homogenous texture and structure using a stereo microscope (20-50x magnification). In size fraction 20-38 mm and 38 -100 µm only fibres longer than >100 µm were counted and these data are in the data sheet aggregated with data for the size fraction 100 – 300 µm. For quality assurance of the analyses, all glassware was cleaned and baked in the oven at 450 °C prior to the start of the microplastic analysis, and all the reagents were filtered using 20 µm mesh sizes. Additionally, the risk for airborne particulate contamination was controlled every day of sample analysis
Start date2015-10-24
End date2015-12-14

Responsible organisations

Organisation nameAarhus University,Danish Centre for Environment and Energy
Role of organisationOriginator of Dataset

Dataset availability

Original dataset download link
Date of original dataset publication2020-11-16
Dataset formatDelimited
Text or Plaintext
Public accessNo limitations
License for useODC-By
Link to dataset after processing by data


Latitude north boundary57.88289773916
Longitude east boundary15.667461711773
Latitude south boundary53.93363190413
Longitude west boundary6.3510554617731
Sea areaSkagerrak
North Sea
Baltic Sea
The Sound
Wadden Sea

Data types, collection and processing

Observation typeRock and sediment physical properties
ParameterDissolved organic carbon concentrations in sediment pore waters
Micro-litter in sediments
Sediment water content, porosity and surface area
Instrument typeunconsolidated sediment corers
Instrument nameUnspecified box corer
Platform typeairship

Process information

Submitting organisationAarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Marine Ecology Roskilde
Submission identifier (UUID)e4811c38-6c6f-4a99-8a26-654cfad18e41
Date of dataset creation2016-01-01
Date of metadata creation2020-11-16
Date of metadata latest revision2020-11-16
Date of publishing2020-11-16
Date of processed dataset publication2021-09-20
Processing data centreAarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Marine Ecology Roskilde
Summary record-ID711