(See notes underneath)NOAA Tsunami Debris Model
NOAA used a computer model to simulate the movement of tsunami debris from March 11, 2011, to the present day. This GNOME model (General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment) simulation is based on ocean surface currents from the U.S. Navy (the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model) and winds from NOAA (the NOAA blended wind product). The compute rmodel simulated the release of 1,000 particles from each of 8 locations on the Japan coastline where tsunami wave heights were 3.5 meters or greater. Particles were randomly assigned windage values from 1-5%, meaning that they were moved not only by ocean currents, but were also moved by 1-5% of wind speed in the downwind direction. The dotted black line is drawn to contain 95% of all simulated particles. The shaded area indicates the region of the highest concentration of simulated debris with 1% windages at the end of the simulation. For more details on this model, please visit marinedebris.noaa.gov.