The plastic garbage patch in the
The so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to be 3.5-million-square-kilometer swath (about twice the size of
While the stereotype is that this plastic detritus floats on the surface, researchers found that wave action could drive the material to 20-meters below the surface.
Computer simulations indicate that the ideal conditions for the accumulation of these materials are in areas where surface currents converged and flowed at less than two centimeters per second. If correct, then two areas particularly suited to trap flotsam are near South America, one west of central
Abstracts of recent papers presented at the February, 2010 Conference of the American Geophysical Union on this issue can be found at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-02/agu-2os021810.php.