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Picture of the day: Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Friday, September 10, 2010


The Patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.[4] Despite its size and density, the patch is not visible from satellite photography since it primarily consists of suspended particulates in the upper water column. Since plastics break down to ever smaller polymers, concentrations of submerged particles are not visible from space, nor do they appear as a continuous debris field. Instead, the patch is defined as an area in which the mass of plastic debris in the upper water column is significantly higher than average.

The Garbage Patch is located within the North Pacific Gyre, one of the five major oceanic gyres.

(wikipedia)

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