Direct visual observations of nanoparticles in the Celtic Sea
The characterization of marine NP is fundamental to understand their chemical behaviour. Here, we report the first direct visual investigation into the formation, water column size distribution and seasonal variation of NP in the Celtic Sea with supportive examination of particle morphology.
Samples were collected from surface (depth range), intermediate (depth range) and deep (depth range) waters in December 2014, April 2015 and July 2015. Nanoparticles (>3 KDa) were concentrated by stirred cell ultrafiltration and imaged using Atomic Force Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy. NP size distributions from the spring cruise showed that they mainly existed in the smallest 0.4-1 nm fraction in surface- and bottom-waters, whereas the summer season was dominated by 0.4-1 nm fraction at all depths. In winter NP in bottom-waters were found predominantly in bigger 1-2 nm fraction.