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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tsunami Debris Types 1-6, 372 Landfalls Reported by >50 Beachcombers,California to Alaska, October 2011 - February, 2012

By Curtis C. Ebbesmeyer, Beachcombers’ Alert,
Jim Ingraham, DriftBusters Co.,
March 15, 2012       
Please report flotsam to www.flotsametrics.com
Summary: 
Flotsam from Japan’s 311 tsunami have washed ashore during five months (October 1, 2011, through February 29, 2012) totaling 353 Types 1-3, and 15 Types 4-6.  The landfalls range from northern California to Kodiak, Alaska, with most frequent strandings occurring in Washington State, USA, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. 
According to the latest OSCURS computer simulations (the most widely peer-reviewed flotsam model available), flotsam with intermediate wind factors (3-4; possibly parts of homes and fishing vessels) has begun arriving in America, but so far none have been reported. 
At the end of the blog, please see a simplified comparison of flotsam drift from Japan with four different wind factors varying from slow (wind factor 1) to fast (wind factor 4). 
Note: Illustrations may be found at the end of this blog.





OSCURS Update
--- Wind Factor is Key
       Each month, Jim Ingraham updates the flotsam model known as OSCURS (Ocean SURface Current Simulator).  Monthly updates are made possible by the daily US Navy weather data supplied at the end of each calendar month by the Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The following estimates of flotsam position are based on daily weather measurements made across the North Pacific Ocean along the track of each flotsam.
            Calculating the position of flotsam depends not only on accurate weather data, but inputting into OSCURS the wind parameters which describe a flotsam’s behavior in a given wind.  Basically, the higher a flotsam sticks above the water, the faster a given wind will sail it across the ocean.  Wind factors vary from 1 (slowest) to 5 (fastest) and correspond to transpacific drift speeds of roughly 7 (slowest) to 20 (fastest) nautical miles per day.
Jim Ingraham developed OSCURS during the 42 years he was employed at NOAA.  While at NOAA, he applied OSCURS to many aspects of fisheries science.  The science behind OSCURS is contained in a number of technical reports published by NOAA.  A version of OSCURS for public use is available on the internet.
            OSCURS, as applied to scores of flotsam, is based on peer-reviewed science published over the past 30 years.  Readers are referred to many articles published in the Transactions of the American Geophysical Union concerning the drift of Nike sneakers, tub toys, hockey gloves and a message in a bottle.  The drift of flotsam from Oregon to the islands in the vicinity of Midway Island was published this year in the Marine Pollution Bulletin.
Furthermore, dozens of other flotsam have been reported in 65 issues of the quarterly newsletter Beachcombers’ Alert (copies on file at the NOAA Library, Sand Point, Washington).  Jim Ingraham and I have reported on scores of flotsam having widely varying windage factors.  Consequently, OSCURS is the most widely tested and peer-reviewed flotsam drift model available.  It is for this reason that we have a high degree of confidence in the results presented in the blogs at this website (www.flotsametrics.com). 
            Each time Jim runs OSCURS, he lists the wind factors.  Without such factors, a flotsam drift map cannot be interpreted.  Figures 1 and 2 show OSCURS drift maps for wind factors 1-2 for 36 flotsam starting along the Tsunami Coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, and ending on two dates separated by three months: November 30, 2011; and January 31, 2012.  Comparing these two maps for the same windage makes clearly evident the drift which occurred in the three-month time interval.
Wind Factor 5 Flotsam
       --- 5-Month Summary: October 1, 2011 – February 29, 2012
            In a previous blog at this website, Curt described wind factor 5 flotsam beginning to make landfall in America in early October 2011.  To positively identify this flotsam, we have typed them 1-6 as shown in Figures 3, 4.  With this shorthand, each report was identified through photographs exchanged via email with beachcombers. 
With five months’ hindsight, we can see that these six types have been stranding during October 1, 2011 – February 29, 2012, totaling 353 Types 1-3, and 15 Types 4-6.  The landfalls range from northern California to Kodiak, Alaska, with most frequent reports from Washington State, USA, and Vancouver Island, Canada.
Following is a summary of the possible origins.  Please note that more than 99 percent of all flotsam washes up without clear identification as to date and place of origin.  Here are our best estimates as to origins of Types 1-6:
Types 1-3.  These appear to have originated from oyster farms.  About half the Type 1 buoys come ashore with relic oyster shells.  The brands on a few have been traced to individual oyster farms.
Type 4.  Red plastic containers for storing kerosene.  According to our contacts in Japan, most households along the tsunami coast had several of these for storing kerosene used in heaters to keep their homes warm.  Washed ashore, they are usually empty and bear the distinctive aroma of kerosene.  12 have so far washed ashore, thus far without bearing family names.
Type 5.  White plastic containers for storing vinegar.  When opened, these smell of vinegar.  So far four have washed ashore.  Vinegar is used in preparing food and for household cleaning.
Type 6.  Basketball sized black plastic floats.  Judging from the oyster shells found on them, these also appear to have originated from oyster farms.  They are so numerous that beachcombers cannot count them all.
During the five-month interval October 2011 through February 2012, more than 50 beachcombers have reported the arrival of 353 Type 1-3 buoys between northern California and Kodiak, Alaska.  Organized by month, the arrivals as expressed as a percent of the 353 total are:
October                    1 %
November                4 %
December                4 %
January                  66 %
February                24 %
            As to type, most are the Styrofoam Type 2 (70.8%), with Type 1 (28.5%) and Type 3 (0.7%) making up the remainder.     As they drift across the Pacific Ocean, many of the Type 2 buoys apparently break up into smaller chunks of Styrofoam.  As to frequency of stranding, by far most have stranded along Vancouver Island (84.6%), followed by Washington (10.6%), Alaska (2.2%), Oregon (2.2%), and northern California (0.4%). 
It is a question if the spatial pattern of recoveries will prevail for the main mass of debris which Jim Ingraham and I expect to begin arriving this coming October.  According to OSCURS (reported below), the arrival pattern appears to be holding for flotsam with intermediate wind factors (2.0-3.0).
What’s Next to Arrive on American Shores?
          --- Medium speed flotsam appears to be arriving in March, 2012
            Figure 5 shows the locations of 36 flotsam drifting at wind factors 2-3.  These are flotsam with wind factors intermediate to those of satellite tracked buoys (wind factor 1.0), and flotsam Types 1-6 (wind factors ~5.0).  The OSCURS trajectories indicate that flotsam with 3.0-4.0 wind factors has already begun to arrive in America (March 2012).  The identity of intermediate wind factor flotsam remains uncertain at this time.  We suspect it will include overturned boats and the crowns of homes.  Please report to www.flotsametrics.com.
Simplified Wind Factor Comparison
            Using OSCURS, Jim computed a simplified comparison of the effect of wind factors on the time when transpacific flotsam originating from the tsunami coast makes landfall in America.  Figures 6-9 show six individual flotsam released one each at the six sites along the tsunami coast.  These six sites are the ones shown by the stars Figures 1, 2, and 5.
            Experience gained in applying OSCURS to scores of transpacific flotsam over the past 30 years has shown that typical flotsam drift speeds vary from slow to fast.  Wind factor 1.0 expresses the slowest flotsam speed (approximately 7 nautical miles per day), and wind factor 5.0 expresses the fastest speed (approximately 20 miles per day).  Wind factor 5.0 flotsam began arriving last October, so we focus here on the question of the locations of slower flotsam having wind factors 1, 2, 3, and 4 (figures 7-9, respectively).
            Figure 7 shows the estimated locations of flotsam with wind factor 1.0.  These have drifted about half way across the North Pacific Ocean.
            Figure 8 shows the estimated locations of flotsam with wind factor 2.0.  These have not yet reached the coast. 
            Figures 9 and 10 show the estimated locations of flotsam with wind factors 3.0 and 4.0, respectively.  These have begun making landfalls.     
            This comparison shows that the slowest speed flotsam (wind factors 1, 2) have not yet arrived in America, whereas the fastest flotsam (wind factors 3, 4, 5) have made landfalls.
Thanks.  Jim and Curt thank the many beachcombers who took the time to report the flotsam described in this blog.  Glenn Cannon and Rob Hannigen reviewed drafts of this blog.

Figure 1. OSCURS: flotsam with wind factors 1-2 ending on November 30, 2011.  All totaled, this computer run shows 36 drift tracks, i.e., flotsam with six wind factors starting on March 11, 2011, at six coastal locations.  The start-points correspond to the stars along the tsunami coast.  The colors of the 6 start-points from north to south are: black, red, green, blue, light purple, and gray.  All trajectories (wiggly lines) from each start-point are the same color of that start-point.  To represent various wind factors, six trajectories begin at each start point according to wind factors spaced at 0.2 intervals: 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0.  End-points are the circles of the same color.  Most of the time, the end-points are distributed by the fastest (largest magnitude) wind factor leading the way -- as seen in the black trajectories.  Each trajectory ends on November 30, 2011.  Jim Ingraham OSCURS simulation.
 
Figure 2.  OSCURS: 36 flotsam with wind factors 1-2 ending on February 29, 2012.  All totaled, this computer run shows 36 drift tracks, i.e., flotsam with six wind factors starting at six coastal locations.  Start-points correspond to the stars along the tsunami coast.  The colors of the 6 start-points from north to south are: black, red, green, blue, light purple and gray.  All trajectories (wiggly lines) from each start-point are the same color of that start-point.  To represent various wind factors, six trajectories begin at each start point according to wind factors spaced at 0.2 intervals: 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0.  End-points are the circles of the same color.  Most of the time, the end-points are distributed by the fastest (largest magnitude) wind factor leading the way -- as seen in the black trajectories.  Each trajectory ends on February 29, 2012.  Jim Ingraham OSCURS simulation.


   

Figure 3.  Three Types of oyster buoys:  Type1 (top panels) — Cylindrical shaped hard plastic with handles at both ends, some with ribs around them.  They come in black and orange; Type 2 (lower left) — Cylindrical shaped Styrofoam, some covered with orange, yellow and blue canvas; and Type 3 (lower right) — Football-shaped, orange and yellow.  Dave Ingraham photo collage.
Figure 4.  Type 4 (upper left), kerosene containers; Type 5 (upper right), vinegar containers; Type 6 (bottom panels), fishing buoys, many with oyster shells.  Dave Ingraham collage.

Figure 5.  OSCURS drift for wind factors 2-3 ending on February 29, 2012.  All totaled, this computer run shows 36 drift tracks, i.e., flotsam with six wind factors starting on March 11, 2011, at six coastal locations.  Start-points are stars along the tsunami coast.  The colors of the 6 start-points from north to south are: black, red, green, blue, light purple, and gray.  All trajectories (wiggly lines) from each start-point are the same color of that start-point.  To represent various wind factors, six trajectories begin at each start point according to wind factors spaced at 0.2 intervals: 2.0, 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 2.8 and 3.0.  End-points are the circles of the same color.  Most of the time, the end-points are distributed by the fastest (largest magnitude) wind factor leading the way -- as seen in the black trajectories.  Each trajectory ends on February 29, 2012.  Jim Ingraham OSCURS simulation.


Figure 6. OSCURS drift for wind factor 1.0 ending on February 29, 2012.  All totaled, this computer run shows 6 drift tracks, i.e., flotsam each with wind factor 1.0 starting on March 11, 2011, at the six coastal locations used in Figures 1, 2, and 5.  Start-points correspond to the stars along the tsunami coast.  The colors of the 6 start-points from north to south are: black, red, green, blue, light purple, and gray.  All trajectories (wiggly lines) from each start-point are the same color of that start-point.  End-points are the circles of the same color.  Each trajectory ends on February 29, 2012.  Jim Ingraham OSCURS simulation.

Figure 7. OSCURS drift for wind factor 2.0 ending on February 29, 2012.  All totaled, this computer run shows 6 drift tracks, i.e., flotsam each with wind factor 1.0 starting on March 11, 2011, at the six coastal locations used in Figures 1, 2, and 5.  Start-points correspond to the stars along the tsunami coast.  The colors of the 6 start-points from north to south are: black, red, green, blue, light purple, and gray.  All trajectories (wiggly lines) from each start-point are the same color of that start-point.  End-points are the circles of the same color.  Each trajectory ends on February 29, 2012.  Jim Ingraham OSCURS simulation.


Figure 8. OSCURS drift for wind factor 3.0 ending on February 29, 2012.  All totaled, this computer run shows 6 drift tracks, i.e., flotsam each with wind factor 1.0 starting on March 11, 2011, at the six coastal locations used in Figures 1, 2, and 5.  Start-points correspond to the stars along the tsunami coast.  The colors of the 6 start-points from north to south are: black, red, green, blue, light purple, and gray.  All trajectories (wiggly lines) from each start-point are the same color of that start-point.  End-points are the circles of the same color.  Each trajectory ends on February 29, 2012.  Jim Ingraham OSCURS simulation.

Figure 9. OSCURS drift for wind factor 4.0 ending on February 29, 2012.  All totaled, this computer run shows 6 drift tracks, i.e., flotsam each with wind factor 1.0 starting on March 11, 2011, at the six coastal locations used in Figures 1, 2, and 5.  Start-points correspond to the stars along the tsunami coast.  The colors of the 6 start-points from north to south are: black, red, green, blue, light purple, and gray.  All trajectories (wiggly lines) from each start-point are the same color of that start-point.  End-points are the circles of the same color.  Each trajectory ends on February 29, 2012.  Jim Ingraham OSCURS simulation.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kevin Adams said...

Everyone Needs to SEE this. Especially those who believe debris were well off-shore of Japan during Nuclear accident.
Download copy of accident form world-nuclear.org
You will need Google Earth prog.
Run Google Earth and locate Fukushima nuclear plant
Use historical photos app on toolbar and go back to 3/11/11
After some simple deductive reasoning you should arrive at the conclusion that this is actually a photo taken on 3/12/11.
Notice all the rafts and ribbons of debris close to shore?
Read time-line of events and you will find reactor 1 was deep into meltdown.
Steam and gases had been vented several times to stem the threat of explosion from hydrogen buildup.The containment Bld at reactor 1 exploded later that day a 3:36 PM.
The disaster escalated until 3/15 when reactors 2 , 3 fell to the fate.
Peak radiation was recorded on this day.
Japanese officials recently announced that 70% of contamination went into and over the ocean.
Up until a week ago I took a bit of comfort believing debris were "well off-shore during disaster".
I fully appreciate the variables and unknowns surrounding the many issues such as exposure, absorption, degradation of radioactivity and on and on. I only wish to provide people with a chance to form their own opinions as to what they see and believe.
The point is that I personally think it irresponsible and bordering on criminal negligence for our Government to allow and encourage its citizens to clean up debris without proper notification of dangers.Only 2 disaster were natural disasters really.The third was as we know now , an accident waiting to happen. Now we look at another potential disaster.
My major concerns are with the foam insulation Dr. Ebbesmeyer speaks of.
I would be quite interested in it's characteristics to absorb and shed radiation.
50% percent is a whole bunch of foam, and if this stuff absorbs radiation more like patches of soil then this is a huge issue. I'm not religious but I pray that this isn't the case.
Uncle Sam has thrown a big bucket of water on this by simply claiming debris was long gone before accident.
You decide


Kudos to all involved with this web-site , Creators and users alike

June 19, 2012 at 1:27:00 PM PDT  

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