Photo: Fernanda Avelar Santos/Ciência UFPR/Reproduce
Brazilian researchers have found a disturbing phenomenon in Espírito Santo: boulders that are identical to natural rocks, but composed of plastic.
The stones are the result of marine pollution. They are in Parcel das Tartarugas, on Trindade Island, the largest nesting area in Green turtle and spiral sea reefs in Brazil.
“We identified four types of plastic debris morphologies, distinct in composition and appearance,” He said In a statement by Fernanda Avelar Santos, PhD student in the Graduate Program in Geology at UFPR (Federal University of Paraná).
According to Santos, plastic covers volcanic rock and sediments made up of gravel and sand. The results are detailed in Article Published in scientific journals Marine Pollution Bulletin in September.
The discovery occurred during a geological mapping of the island, still in 2019. After laboratory analysis, the researchers realized that the “plastic rocks” had been around for a maximum of 20 years. Among them, there are different shapes of debris.
The most common type of plastic
A frequent material in stones is plastite, a material that “imitates” igneous rocks, but it has a mostly plastic composition. This element covered the igneous rocks that recorded the last episode of active volcanic activity in Brazil.
There are also plastiglomerates that look like this sedimentary rocksand lava, which was first found off the coast of England.
formation of rocks marine pollution It happens quickly – but it has long-lasting effects. When unnatural materials, such as plastics, are present in nature, they begin to participate in sedimentary processes and build up in rocks that are already there, where they remain indefinitely.
In the case of the island of Trinidad, on Espiritu Santo, the plastic had melted due to burning rubbish in the past and, over the years, had “stuck” to the stones, giving rise to a new type of rock.
Therefore, the The study indicates that human action is indeed capable of influencing the geological make-up of the planet. “Human action in current times is so pervasive that it is modifying the planet at a faster rate than natural processes,” Santos noted.
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