Map of the North Pacific Ocean showing (oversimplified) ocean currents and features. These systems have helped concentrate marine debris, especially large quantities of small bits of plastic, in certain areas.

Map of the North Pacific Ocean showing (oversimplified) ocean currents and features. These systems have helped concentrate marine debris, especially large quantities of small bits of plastic, in certain areas. Image courtesy of NOAA Marine Debris Program.

NOTE: This map is an over-simplification of ocean currents and features in the Pacific Ocean. There are numerous factors that affect the location, size, and strength of all of these features throughout the year, including seasonality and El Nino/La Nina. Depicting that on a static map is very difficult.

 

Related Links

NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer

Okeanos Explorer: EX1006 Expedition 2010

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery