Search This Blog

Monday, September 12, 2011

Japan : Research on drifting debris from March disaster

Via NHK News, excerpt :

" US and Japanese researchers have launched studies on the expected paths and environmental impact of huge amounts of debris that have been drifting in the Pacific Ocean since they were washed offshore by the March 11th tsunami.

Japan's Environment Ministry estimates that the March earthquake and tsunami created around 24.9 million tons of rubble in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures, northeastern Japan. Massive amounts of debris are thought to be drifting in the Pacific after being washed into the sea by the tsunami.

Nikolai Maximenko, senior researcher at the University of Hawaii's International Pacific Research Center, is analyzing the paths of the drifting debris based on data about sea currents' speeds and directions observed at several hundred spots in the Pacific.

He says the debris is believed to be drifting several hundred kilometers east of the Midway Islands, which are located 2,000 kilometers northwest of Hawaii. He says some of it may reach Hawaii as early as next spring.

The professor notes that knowing the predicted paths of the drifting rubble is important to ensure safe navigation and to protect the marine ecosystem.

Meanwhile, Professor Shigeru Fujieda of Japan's Kagoshima University began research on the drifting debris in Hawaii last week. He examined large quantities of rubbish scattered on the beach of Oahu on Friday."

No comments:

Post a Comment