This animation presents the path of the spreading field of debris caused by retreating waves from the 3/11 events in Japan, across an area covering 5,000 kilometers by 2,000 kilometers. This animation has been produced by Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Hafner of the International Pacific Researcg Center (IPRC).
According to both e360 and Earth Observatory this animation has been designed based on satellite data and a network of scientific buoys showing sea surface height, ocean surface winds, and ocean currents.
As e360 and Earth Observatory, but also countless other newspapers and magazines, reports, about 5 million tons of debris was pulled into the ocean and 70 percent sank to the seafloor, with about 1.5 million tons still floating.
The model, Earth Observatory, says:
begins with more than 678,000 "tracers" being released from various points along the northeastern coast of Japan March 11, 2011. The initial distribution is based on the density of population and development.
The animation originally appeared on e360 and Earth Observatory.
Source: e360 and Earth Observatory