Study finds heavy metals and microplastics in Algarve sea

Heavy metals and microplastics are just some of the pollutants detected on the continental shelf off thein Algarve sea.

Study finds heavy metals and microplastics in Algarve sea

“Human presence has left a polluting signature on the coastal area of the Algarve, with negative impact, for example, on the level of biodiversity,” said Costa, who works out of the Department of Earth Sciences at the Faculty of Science and Technology (FCTUC) at the university. A statement sent to Lusa explains that the “OnOff” project – which involves more than 20 researchers – carried out “the chronography of extreme events (such as tsunamis and storms) and the effects of human contamination” in this area of the Algarve, over the past 12,000 years.

The study “alerts to the impacts of anthropogenic pollution on the continental shelf off the Algarve”, says the FCTUC press release. “Heavy metals in Algarve sea and organic contaminants were detected along the coastal area between Sagres and Portimão” – with the results of research published in specialist magazine Marine Pollution Bulletin.

“The data obtained seems to indicate that in the 1960s there was a peak in pollution, but, curiously, in recent years, this pollution seems to be slowing down slightly, with the exception of the Arade river area, due to regular discharges“, Pedro Costa, co-author of the scientific article, says. The study reports the presence of “various inorganic and organic pollutants related to human activity, among which are different heavy metals, and even microplastics” Due to climate change, “it is expected that we will have more high-energy events, either in precipitation or in storms, which will cause more intense erosive phenomena”.

“In Portugal, several areas are under pressure, which means this problem will inevitably become more acute. We have always had pollution, but with the changing climate and with the energy levels of these extreme events, phenomena that would be of little intensity may cause serious negative consequences and serious imbalances in coastal systems,” the FCTUC researcher continues.Besides UC, “OnOff” involved the University of Lisbon, the University of Algarve, the Hydrographic Institute and the Portuguese Environment Agency, besides the University of Aachen (Germany) and the United States Geological Survey.

Source: This news is originally published by portugalresident