HOTMIC Project


Less than approximately 10% of the plastic that enters the ocean can be accounted for today, probably due to fragmentation into small microplastics (MP) not quantified by modern techniques or to export from the ocean surface. It is unknown how much plastic debris actually floats on the ocean's surface, what mechanisms control the transport and fate of plastic from land to the deep sea, and what ecological impact this may have.

The HOTMIC project addresses these knowledge gaps by focusing on a land-ocean link model between Western Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean current. The purpose of HOTMIC is to map the distribution of PM, including <10μm particles and microfibers, in water, sediments and biota from the coastal ocean to the open ocean gyre and deep sea. This project will quantify the processes that control the lateral and vertical transport of PM, including biofouling, (bio)aggregation and deposition, for incorporation into global ocean models. To understand the fate of PM in the ocean, HOTMIC will examine microplastic weathering signatures during maritime transport and assess the predominant mechanisms that create the weathering signature, including the biological effects of biodestruction and ingestion.

Project Designation:   HOTMIC
Program:   JPI Oceans / FCT
Start Date:   01/09/2020
End Date:   31/08/2023
ARDITI Budget:   125 000,00 € 
ARDITI Funding:   125 000,00 € 
Coordinator:   GEOMAR Helmholtz
Partners:   GEOMAR Helmholz Zentrum für Ozean Forschung Kiel, Institute of Hydrochemistry (IWC), Chair of Analytical Chemistry and Water Chemistry, Technical University of Munich (TUM) Department of Chemistry, University of Southern Denmark Biology, Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera Division of Oceanography and Marine Environment, Università di Pisa Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, Ghent University Marine Biology, University of Tartu Estonian Marine Institute

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This project is aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goal (SDG):

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