Elsewhere in the world’s oceans, much of the seafloor sediment is organic matter.There’s no upwelling and much less life at the surface, so much less organic matter is sinking to the seafloor to form sediment.
“That does matter if fish and other animals are doing that, too, because we only eat their muscle tissue,” she says, because the plastic could be moving through the lining of their guts and concentrating in those edible bits.
While soil erosion and sedimentation are entirely natural processes, the rates increased markedly due to loss of forest landcover with the arrival of people in New Zealand, says Dr Swales.
“This study unequivocally demonstrates that earthquake-triggered canyon flushing is the primary process that carves out submarine canyons and delivers coastal sediment to the deep ocean,” says NIWA marine geologist Dr Joshu Mountjoy.
Rather, these penguins, who were mummified by the cold, dry Antarctica environment, likely died from weather on the opposite end of the spectrum: two extremely rainy and snowy events that happened over the past 1,000 years, a new study finds.