2 September Ocean Current

The water moves from one reservoir to another, such as from river to ocean, or from the ocean to the atmosphere, by the physical processes of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, runoff, and subsurface flow. In so doing, the water goes through different phases: liquid, solid (ice), and gas (vapor).
water cycle (USGS)


2 September 2012 NY times


March 13, 2012

On West Coast, Looking for Flotsam of a Disaster


SAN FRANCISCO — John Anderson, a plumber by trade and a beachcomber by passion, has been trolling the shores of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State for more than three decades, and along the way has discovered almost every kind of flotsam one can imagine: toys, refrigerators, even the occasional message in a bottle.

But in recent months, Mr. Anderson has been making a new, and somewhat surprising, find: dozens of buoys marked with Japanese writing, set adrift, he believes, by last year’s catastrophic tsunami.

“That wave wiped out whole towns, I’m thinking just about anything could show up here,” said Mr. Anderson, 58, of Forks, Wash. “I’ve heard people talking about floating safes full of Japanese money.”

The tsunami — which struck after a massive offshore earthquake last March 11 — sent a wall of water sweeping across much of Japan’s eastern coastline and generated more than 20 million tons of debris, a jumbled mass of houses, cars, boats and belongings. And while it’s not clear what percentage of that wreckage was sucked back out to sea and what remains afloat, what is certain is that some of it is slowly making its way to American shores.

Computer models run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and by researchers from the University of Hawaii predict that debris has moved eastward from the coast of Japan, driven by currents and wind. The models predict that bits of detritus will begin washing up on the northwestern Hawaiian Islands this springand along the western coast of the United States and Canada in early 2013.

We don’t think there is a massive debris field out there,” said Nancy Wallace, director of NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. “It will come up in little spurts here and there, a small trickle over years.”

Researchers think most of it will never reach shore and will instead get caught up and broken apart in the “great Pacific garbage patch” a swirling gyre of currents in the middle of the Pacific Ocean known to collect and recirculate floating garbage.

But beachcombers say the debris has already begun to reach land.

“I feel like Paul Revere running through town, saying ‘The British are coming!’ and no lights are coming on,” said a retired oceanographer, Curtis Ebbesmeyer. “The tsunami debris is here, but no one is listening.

Co-author of “Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How One Man’s Obsession With Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science,” Mr. Ebbesmeyer, 69, also publishes Beachcombers’ Alert, a newsletter on all things flotsam and jetsam. He counts some 10,000 people in the loose-knit network of serious beachcombers who read his newsletter and report their seashore findings to him.

Mr. Ebbesmeyer said he had received more than 400 documented sightings of large black plastic and white Styrofoam buoys found between Kodiak, Alaska, and Humboldt County, Calif. Many of the buoys are marked with Japanese characters, including the names of oyster companies destroyed by the tsunami. The buoys corroborate computer modeling by Mr. Ebbesmeyer and an oceanographer colleague that predicted debris would begin landing as early as last fall.

Despite a rise in interest and reported sightings, officials have not confirmed that any of the items found along the West Coast originated in Japan. “There is debris from Asia that comes to shore all the time, and it’s not necessary tsunami-related,” Ms. Wallace said.

Thus far, only two tsunami debris clusters have been confirmed, a wrecked Japanese fishing boat spotted by a Russian ship that was en route from Honolulu to Vladivostok, Russia, and another vessel located by the United States Coast Guard nearer to Japan.

Finding flotsam over some 5,000 miles of open ocean is not easy. A month after the disaster, the debris was no longer visible in NOAA’s satellite images. To assist in the search, officials have requested higher-resolution satellite images from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which runs satellite-based mapping and monitoring for the Defense Department. In recent months, NOAA reached out to the commercial shipping and fishing groups, asking boats to report any large debris sightings in the water.

NOAA has also called on a growing cadre of beachcombers to keep a lookout.

Since January, the number of e-mails NOAA has received reporting tsunami debris has increased threefold. The Web page answering frequently asked questionsabout the tsunami gets more visitors than any of the program’s other pages. NOAA also has a smartphone app for tracking debris found on beaches.

Whether tsunami-related or not, officials encourage beachgoers to pick up and properly dispose of any garbage they find. “Radioactivity is extremely unlikely,” Ms. Wallace said, in part because the damaged Fukushima reactor did not begin leaking radioactive material until after the tsunami wave retreated.

Tom Baty, an avid fisherman and a retiree, spends up to three hours a day walking the beaches of Point Reyes National Seashore in California, where he picks up trash and sometimes tracks the location of plastic debris with a GPS device. Mr. Baty, 54, regularly finds tidbits of junk marked with Japanese, Chinese and Korean characters, which makes him skeptical of the reports of tsunami debris up the West Coast.

Still, he said he was curiously awaiting the arrival of any floating evidence of that violent event. Mr. Baty is one of a ragtag army of unofficial seaside detectives who provide useful information on the patterns and whereabouts of ocean garbage to government officials and environmental groups. “You walk up to something on the tide line,” he said, “and you scratch your head and think, ‘Now where did that come from?’ ”


and also http://beachcombersalert.blogspot.nl/
Thank you to Maarten vanden Eynde

15 August 2012 abn.com

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last month announced that it would be providing $50,000 each to Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington state and Hawaii to help pay for debris removal.
Los Angeles Times
Published: August 15th, 2012 10:32 PM

… But Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, last month called the $50,000 for Alaska “woefully inadequate.” Alaska plans to spend nearly $200,000 alone on a 2,500-mile aerial survey for tsunami debris.

Oregon spent about $85,000 to remove the dock.

NOAA has received hundreds of reports of debris, from bottles to boats, but traced only 10 items definitively back to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Debris has included a soccer ball found in Alaska and a shipping crate containing a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that washed up in British Columbia.

Havel said that more debris is showing up off the Oregon coast.

He said more debris usually turns up in winter

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/08/15/2588875/tsunami-debris-from-japan-poses.html#storylink=cpy

20 July 2012 The Maritime Museum of British Columbia

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia (Canada)’s
Tsunami Debris Project

View Larger Map

The Maritime Museum of BC has developed an online project that aims to collect photos of flotsam that has washed ashore. We invite you to upload your photos of tsunami debris you may encounter.

The devastating tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011 swept untold tons of debris into the Pacific ocean. Most has sunk, but many of the buoyant bits are still floating, in the middle of the Pacific, caught in the ocean’s currents. Those currents are slowly sweeping debris from the tsunami towards the shores of the United States and Canada. Already, we are seeing some debris with Japanese origins wash up on the shores of Vancouver Island, although the majority of the debris is not calculated to hit our coast until 2013-2014.

Planning ahead, the MMBC has developed a project that aims to collect photos of flotsam that has washed ashore. This Facebook site will allow users to upload photos of bits that are found along the beaches. Moderators at the museum will attempt to determine the origin of debris, assess any potential value and share the photos and add comments. Japanese visitors to the site could scan the site for lost or recognizable items. In some cases where an object has been collected from the beach it may be able to be returned to its owner through the Japanese Consulate. Please see http://mmbc.bc.ca/tsunami-debris/ for more information.

20 July 2012 the Hague – Department of Archaeology


Department of Archaeology
History of The Hague
Published: 25 November 2011 Modified: 25 November 2011
People left traces and things behind in the ground, and those are regularly found again. Every object has its story: about the city’s past and about how its people lived and built, and what they ate. These stories are worth preserving and their archaeology needs proper care.

Visitors can admire unearthed gems during an open day.

This is why 25 years ago The Hague set up its own Department of Archaeology. This subdivision of the Department of City Management (Dienst Stadsbeheer) evaluates building plans, carries out excavations and stores archaeological finds and information. It presents new discoveries to scientists and the general public through exhibitions, open days, publications, education material and audiovisual productions.
Download a map of archaeological sites in and around The Hague.
When to dig
Archaeologists excavate whenever construction or demolition activities threaten the archaeology in the ground. The archaeology department is involved from the planning stage onwards. Auguring is used to test potential sites, and when necessary the sites are excavated or earth removal activities on them are closely supervised.
On 1 September 2007 the new Historic Sites and Monuments Act (Monumentenwet) became operative. It stipulates that everyone who initiates construction work or other earth removal activities must facilitate prior archaeological evaluation of the site. All locations to which this is applicable are marked on the ‘Map of known and conjectured archaeological sites’. Architects, developers and private individuals can consult the website for information on current legal requirements and permits.
Restoration and conservation
Archaeological objects are made of a variety of materials: metal, glass, leather, bone or pottery. They are dirty and damaged when they come out of the ground and must therefore be carefully cleaned and sorted, together with thousands of pot shards.
Important pieces undergo conservation treatment. Incomplete objects may be reconstructed when they are to be exhibited or photographed. Finally the objects are stored in the municipal depot, where they can be studied, borrowed or taken out for exhibition.
Archaeology becomes invisible after an excavation. Nothing reminds us anymore of what once existed on that spot. Therefore, sites or particular finds often become sources of inspiration to make the excavated past somehow visible again. The Department of Archaeology tries to integrate archaeology as much as possible into new housing estates or development plans.
Some ‘memorials’ are already in place: replicas of the milestones, street names referring to archaeology, play areas inspired by Roman farms and the Bronze Age footprint at Wateringse Veld.
A 1616 town map is reflected in the floor of the tram tunnel beneath the Grote Markt where artefacts can be seen in deep ‘wells’. In Ypenburg the floor plan of a Stone Age house is made visible together with three bronze reconstructions of human heads, modelled on skulls from the cemetery on the site.
Contact details
Department of Archaeology
Visitor’s address
Prins Hendrikstraat 39
2518 HH The Hague

Postal address
Postbus 12651
2500 DP The Hague

Telephone: (070) 353 55 04
E-mail: archeologie@denhaag.nl

Storage shelves at the Department of Archaeology

18 July 2012 Search for tsunami debris moves north

NOAA scientists are combing Alaska beaches again in their search for marine debris from the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

View Search for tsunami debris moves north in a larger map


Search for tsunami debris moves north
by Rosemarie Alexander
July 18, 2012 6:00 am

NOAA scientists are combing Alaska beaches again in their search for marine debris from the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

Five scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are in the Yakutat area this week, where they will be walking several miles each day before going on to a new segment of beach.

After Yakutat, they’ll head to the Cordova area, Kayak Island, and Montague Island in Southcentral Alaska.

Jacek Maselko is the lead scientist. In an interview before the group left, he said NOAA has previous data from many of the beaches, so they will be able to see how things change over time.

“We’re going to specific spots that we surveyed in 2008, 1998 and then ’92 and prior years. So those are the exact specific beaches, shoreline segments, that we have surveyed in the past,” he said. “We have a pretty good long term distribution of the density and the composition of the debris that’s found on those specific beaches.”

In June the NOAA scientists visited 36 Southeast Alaska sites on the outer coast, from Dixon Entrance to Cape Spencer.

“There’s so much variability between each segment that you cannot use one to predict what’s going to be on the next one. So really what we found here in Southeast in our last survey, the densities, the quantities, we can’t really use that to say what we’re going to find up north. Even on adjacent segments they can have quite different densities,” he said.

Maselko plans to look for tsunami debris over as much of the Gulf of Alaska shoreline as possible this summer, and revisit many of the same areas next year.

So far most of what the scientists have catalogued is common stuff, but in the June survey they found a number of large black, yellow and orange oval buoys, which they believe to be part of the Japanese fish farming industry.


18 July 2012 Articles about debris in Alaska アラスカに流れ着いた瓦礫についての記事



020512Tons of Suspected Japan Tsunami Debris Wash Ashore in Alaska – ktuu.pdf

190612Feds’ help needed with tsunami debris, Gregoire says _ Local News _ The Seattle Times.pdf

070712State secures emergency funding to assess tsunami debris – Alaska Journal of Commerce – July Issue 1 2012 – Anchorage, AK.pdf


18 July 2012 瓦礫 Debris

The Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation (MCAF)はアラスカの海岸沿いのモニタリングを呼びかけていて、http://www.facebook.com/groups/140608506054408/にtsunami debrisがupされています。



で、いろいろ調べ出しているところなのですが、Captain Charles Mooreという人が1997年にこのパッチを発見して、それからAlgalita marine research foundationをたちあげて、今に至るまで研究を進めています。(Long Beach, California-based non-profit marine research and education organization)

今年、キャプテンは「2012Voyage」の旅にTsunami debrisを追うことが書かれていました。(http://www.algalita.org/blog/?p=2809


ロッテルダムに住むアーティストMaarten Vanden Eyndeはplastic reefのプロジェクトをやっています。


シミュレーション。提供はiprc(International pacific research center)です。