The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch


There is a garbage swirl in the Pacific Ocean that the estimated size of the area is about Texas.


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The Great Pacific garbage patch, also described as the Pacific trash vortex, is a gyre of marine debris particles in the north-central Pacific Ocean. It is located roughly from 135°W to 155°W and 35°N to 42°N. The collection of plastic and floating trash originates from the Pacific Rim, including countries in Asia, North America, and South America. The patch is actually "two enormous masses of ever-growing garbage".

An ocean current about 6,000 miles long, referred to as the Subtropical Convergence Zone connects the two patches, which extend over an indeterminate area of the widely varying range, depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area. The vortex is characterized by exceptionally high relative pelagic concentrations of plastic, chemical sludge, wood pulp, and other debris trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.

The size of the patch is indefinite, as is the precise distribution of debris because large items are uncommon. Most debris consists of small plastic particles suspended at or just below the surface, evading detection by aircraft or satellite. Instead, the size of the patch is determined by sampling. Estimates of size range from 700,000 square kilometers (about the size of Texas).


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