waterproof uggs Tsunami ghost ship washes up on the US coast after 6 years
Experts at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton said the ship would have had time to circle the immense garbage patch at least twice via the North Pacific Gyre
Photos from the wreckage show masses of the barnacles clinging to the overturned hull, as well as seagulls feasting on them.
Professor David Tappin of the British Geological Survey who was one of the first foreigners to assess the damage to Japan back in 2011 described the ship’s journey.
Experts say that, after the tsunami, the vessel was most likely trapped by the Kuroshio Current which runs along Japan’s east coast
Near the US coast, the ship would likely have been caught in the Great Pacific garbage patch, an area at least the size of Texas where swirling currents called gyres have trapped debris.
‘Some material went onshore but a lot of it was caught up in this gyre which circulates clockwise and it’s probably still there being degraded.
‘Every so often I suppose there’ll be a bit which will be dragged out and washed up somewhere on the coastline, most likely along the western US.’
Experts at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton said the ship would have had time to circle the immense garbage patch at least twice via the North Pacific Gyre.
Dr Andrew Yool and Professors Adrian New and Richard Lampitt said this and other gyres could account for the length of the ship’s epic journey.
‘It could also have been transferred from the North Pacific Gyre to the Alaskan Gyre, which circulates south of Alaska,’ they wrote.
‘Again, it could have circled this more than once.’
Tiffany Boothe of Oregon’s Seaside Aquarium, who discovered the wreck, said a storm had most likely shaken the vessel from its ghostly wanderings.
She said: ‘Large storms, combined with strong westerly winds, will sometimes dislodge the debris and trash gathered in gyre.
‘When this happens there is a potential to get tsunami debris,
however most of what washes in is trash from all over that has accumulated in the gyre.’
Boothe added that glass fishing floats, which haven’t been common among Japanese fishermen since the 1960s, could still be found washing ashore in the western US.
Photos from the wreckage show masses of the barnacles clinging to the overturned hull, as well as seagulls feasting on them
‘Keep in mind that the the west coast has had Japanese debris washing ashore for centuries,’ she said.
Professor Tappin said the 2011 tsunami was exceptionally bad for marine waste, dragging an estimated 20 million tonnes of debris out to sea.
He said: ‘With the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 there was obviously a lot of debris which was washed into the sea.
‘But because the ocean current circulation in the western Indian Ocean was different, I think quite a lot of the actual debris came back on land.
‘With the Pacific, it was picked up and carried ever eastward by the ocean currents so, unlike with the Indian Ocean, it wasn’t confined to local coastlines.’
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