Image showing debris accumulated near the coast of Yamada, Japan following the tsunami. The debris has dispersed since this image was taken. Photo source: U.S. Navy Pacific fleet / NOAA
Ocean current expert, Nikolai Maximenko, plans to discuss Tuesday at a news conference his latest estimates for where the debris is and when it may wash ashore. Last year, his team estimated debris could arrive in Hawaii in early 2013.
One to 5 percent of the 1 million to 2 million tons of debris still in the ocean may reach Hawaii, Alaska,and Western US Coast. That’s only a portion of the 20 million to 25 million tons of debris the tsunamis generated altogether, including what was left on land.
“The major question is how much of that material has sank since last year, and how much of that remains afloat or still in the water column,”…
Animation tracks 25 million tons of Japan tsunami debris, Our Amazing Planet
A new animation shows the path of the debris carried out to sea by last year’s massive tsunami in Japan. The tsunami triggered by the devastating earthquake that struck off the east coast of Japan on March 11, 2011,produced an estimated 25 million tons of debris. Much of this debris was swept out into the Pacific Ocean as the waters retreated. The new animation shows its probable path, which is helpful to shipping traffic since some of the debris is dangerously large. Debris-tracking missions have already found two fishing vessels that were carried out to sea by the tsunami.