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The Pacific Trash Vortex
Transcript of The Pacific Trash Vortex
South Pacific Gyre
For: Prof. Foster/ OCE 1001
September 15, 2013
The Pacific Trash Vortex is also known as The Eastern Garbage Patch" (EGP), as well as The Great Garbage Patch
It is a gyre of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean
A gyre- in oceanography is any large system of rotating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements.
The Pacific Trash Vortex
A result of "Plastics: Made to last forever, designed to throw away"
The North Pacific
The world's five subtropical gyres
Ocean waters continuously flow from one current into another
However, ocean currents can be organized into discrete patterns within each ocean
Subtropical Gyres are driven by the major wind belts called gyres (gyros= a circle)
There are Five Major Gyres
South Atlantic Gyre
The reason they are called subtropical gyres is because the center of each gyre coincides with the subtropics at 30 degrees north or south latitude
Numerous scientists and others have attempted to measure the amount of debris; however, the results are only wildly varying estimates.
Estimates of the size range from about 250,000 sqare miles (an area roughly the size of Texas) to 6 million sqare miles
Or, in some media reports, up to "twice the size of the continental United States". Such estimates, however, are conjectural given the complexities of sampling and the need to assess findings against other areas.
North Atlantic Gyre
Indian Ocean Gyre
Ocean Conservancy: Homepage. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://
Trujillo, A. P., & Thurman, H. V. (2014). Essentials of oceanography (11th ed.).
How does the Garbage Patch affect me?
we need to focus our efforts on preventing more trash from fouling our oceans in the first place
How Can I Help?
Most Common Items Found are
Death By Plastic