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First debris from Japanese earthquake/tsunami reaches Olympic Peninsula (Washington State)
The Peninsula Daily News ^ | December 14, 2011 | Arwyn Rice

Posted on 12/15/2011 12:11:17 PM PST by Stoat

First debris from Japanese earthquake/tsunami reaches Olympic Peninsula

By Arwyn Rice 
Peninsula Daily News

 

 

Oceanographer Jim Ingraham answers questions about the islands of debris from the March 11 Japan tsunami that are slowly floating toward the Pacific Northwest. Behind him is a float, found east of Neah Bay, that is believed to be the first identified piece of wreckage to arrive via ocean currents. -- Photo by Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News

  PORT ANGELES — The first piece of debris that could be identified as washing up on the West Coast from the March 11 tsunami in Japan — a large black float — was found on a Neah Bay beach two weeks ago, Seattle oceanographers Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Jim Ingraham said Tuesday night.

Since then, the two researchers, known as DriftBusters Inc. — who have used flotsam to track wind and water currents in the Pacific since 1970 — have learned that the black, 55-gallon drum-sized floats also have been found on Vancouver Island.

Ebbesmeyer and Ingraham spoke to more than 100 people at Peninsula College and brought the float with them, along with examples of other items that may be showing up on beaches in the next year.

Tons of debris washed out to sea when a tsunami struck northern Japan after a massive magnitude-9.0 earthquake March 11.

About a quarter of the 100 million tons of debris from Japan is expected to make landfall on beaches from southern Alaska to California, possibly in volumes large enough to clog ports, Ebbesmeyer said. 

Using models from a historic shipwreck that occurred 20 miles off Neah Bay, Ebbesmeyer and Ingraham have determined the path of debris that comes into that area off the Washington coast.

They said debris will be snagged by currents leading into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and that a large portion of it will end up on beaches from the mouth of the Elwha River to Port Townsend.

Many ocean models have shown that the massive congregation of flotsam that washed away from devastated Japanese coastal cities is in the middle of the Pacific and won’t make landfall in the U.S. for another year or two.

Most of it is exactly where those models predicted, but those models don’t take into account wind and flotsam with large areas exposed to the wind, said Ebbesmeyer, who became famous for his and Ingraham’s ocean research into currents after large spills of Nike shoes and bath toys from container ships in the 1990s.

Flotsam in a current travels an average of seven miles per hour, but it can move as much as 20 mph if it has a large area exposed to the wind, he said.

The float that was found in Neah Bay sits well above the water, has a very shallow draft and is lightweight, exactly what Ingraham’s computer model said would show up first.

It was found by Surfrider beach cleanup crews working on a Makah-owned beach on the strait, a few miles east of Neah Bay, Ebbesmeyer said.

The black floats are seen in the middle of the Pacific by the hundreds, and are not something that has been seen on Eastern Pacific beaches before, he said.

The floats are included in masses of black blobs supporting huge rafts of debris that include fishing boats, houses and possibly human bodies, Ebbesmeyer said.

Many of those bodies and parts of bodies will likely begin washing up in about a year, some simply as feet in athletic shoes, similar to those found in Puget Sound over the last decade, he said.

Ebbesmeyer has done extensive research on those feet, and said that many more may be found in coming years.

Athletic shoes make the perfect floats to preserve parts of bodies, Ebbesmeyer said, and there are still thousands of people missing from tsunami-stricken areas of Japan.

Shoes with remains or other possibly human remains found on beaches should be reported to the appropriate authorities, either police, sheriff’s deputies or park rangers, he said.

If the debris has any kind of identifiable marking, such as numbers or Japanese writing, it may be traceable, Ebbesmeyer said.

“All debris should be treated with a great reverence and respect,” he said. 

Families in Japan are waiting to hear of any items that may have been associated with their loved ones and may travel to the U.S. to meet those who found these mementos, he added.

Items that wash up may include portions of houses, boats, ships, furniture, portions of cars and just about anything else that floats, he said.

The rafts of debris include whole houses which may still contain many personal items, and the Japanese are known for storing important personal mementos in walls, Ebbesmeyer said.

Even the smallest of traceable items may be the only thing associated with one of those people who were lost during the disaster, he said.

Contact Ebbesmeyer at CurtisEbbesmeyer@comcast.net for assistance in translation and to track tsunami debris back to its Japanese origins.

“I have a translator to read things in Japanese,” he said.

Large items still in the water should be reported to the Coast Guard, as they may represent a hazard to boats and ships, he said.

Some shipping lanes have already been rerouted to avoid the worst of the debris, he said.

People should also be aware of the possibility of radiation contamination, he said.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant leaked a large amount of radiation into the water in the wake of the tsunami, and no one knows what levels of contamination there are in the currents, and the items being carried in those currents, he said.

Ebbesmeyer suggested local police take steps to have sensitive Geiger counters available to scan items — just to be safe.

The event was unprecedented, and no one knows yet what levels of radiation, if any, items have picked up, he said.

________

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 14. 2011 5:12PM

 

 


TOPICS: Local News; Miscellaneous; Science
KEYWORDS: 100miltonsdebris; aflac; fukushima; fukushimadebris; fukushimahitsus; fukushimawashington; fukushimawestcoast; gilbertgottfried; japan; japanquake; tsunami; washington; washingtonstate
About a quarter of the 100 million tons of debris from Japan is expected to make landfall on beaches from southern Alaska to California, possibly in volumes large enough to clog ports, Ebbesmeyer said. 

(edit)

People should also be aware of the possibility of radiation contamination, he said.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant leaked a large amount of radiation into the water in the wake of the tsunami, and no one knows what levels of contamination there are in the currents, and the items being carried in those currents, he said.

Ebbesmeyer suggested local police take steps to have sensitive Geiger counters available to scan items — just to be safe.

The event was unprecedented, and no one knows yet what levels of radiation, if any, items have picked up, he said

1 posted on 12/15/2011 12:11:25 PM PST by Stoat
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To: SunkenCiv; blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach

“Thought you might be interested” ping


2 posted on 12/15/2011 12:22:01 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Stoat

“Give us your poor, your huddled, your radioactive . . . . “


3 posted on 12/15/2011 12:38:18 PM PST by BipolarBob (Of all the taglines in all the posts in all the world and she read mine.)
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To: Stoat

Froatsah


4 posted on 12/15/2011 12:43:41 PM PST by DainBramage
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To: Stoat

5 posted on 12/15/2011 12:46:59 PM PST by evets (beer)
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To: Stoat

Dude looks like a wax figure of John Glenn.


6 posted on 12/15/2011 12:52:42 PM PST by Lando Lincoln (But that's just me.)
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To: Stoat
The float that was found in Neah Bay sits well above the water, has a very shallow draft and is lightweight, exactly what Ingraham’s computer model said would show up first.

Scientists need computers to tell them that floats float better than non-floats. lol

7 posted on 12/15/2011 1:02:04 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Stoat
Oceanographer Jim Ingraham shows the tumor growing out of his back believed to have been caused by too much exposure to the radioactive debris washing up on shore from Japan.
8 posted on 12/15/2011 1:23:07 PM PST by Eccl 10:2 (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem - Ps 122:6)
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To: Stoat

I wonder what the chances of the debris still being radioactive? I am going to have to walk the beaches a bit more often on the north coast of Oregon.

What if we find a dead body in the middle of that debris? Who should we call?


9 posted on 12/15/2011 1:31:06 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
I wonder what the chances of the debris still being radioactive?

From the article:

The event was unprecedented, and no one knows yet what levels of radiation, if any, items have picked up, he said.

What if we find a dead body in the middle of that debris? Who should we call?

From the article:

Shoes with remains or other possibly human remains found on beaches should be reported to the appropriate authorities, either police, sheriff’s deputies or park rangers, he said.

10 posted on 12/15/2011 1:39:04 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
I wonder what the chances of the debris still being radioactive?

Of the estimated 100 million tons of debris (did that come from a computer model too?) how much of it came from the nuclear reactor site? They make it sound like all of it did.

11 posted on 12/15/2011 1:54:29 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Eccl 10:2

It looks like a watermelon to me.


12 posted on 12/15/2011 2:04:13 PM PST by RitchieAprile
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To: Stoat

Clallam Co Sheriffs or Makah Tribal Police in Neah.


13 posted on 12/15/2011 2:09:37 PM PST by RitchieAprile
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To: Stoat; Berlin_Freeper; Hotlanta Mike; Silentgypsy; repubmom; HANG THE EXPENSE; Nepeta; Bikkuri; ...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

First debris from Japanese earthquake/tsunami reaches Olympic Peninsula (Washington State)

The black floats are seen in the middle of the Pacific by the hundreds, and are not something that has been seen on Eastern Pacific beaches before, he said.

The floats are included in masses of black blobs supporting huge rafts of debris that include fishing boats, houses and possibly human bodies, Ebbesmeyer said.

[snip]

Shoes with remains or other possibly human remains found on beaches should be reported to the appropriate authorities, either police, sheriff’s deputies or park rangers, he said.

14 posted on 12/15/2011 2:41:19 PM PST by LucyT
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To: LucyT
Thank you very much for pinging your list  :-)

 Thank You

 

15 posted on 12/15/2011 2:47:46 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Eccl 10:2
Oceanographer Jim Ingraham shows the tumor growing out of his back...

At 1st I thougt it was a floaty, but if Jim sez it's a giant tumor growing outta his back, who am I to argue?

Maybe he can get it lanced, no?

16 posted on 12/15/2011 3:06:19 PM PST by 4woodenboats (Obama.....a perfect example of why you can't trust someone that won't look you in the eye)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
What if we find a dead body in the middle of that debris? Who should we call?

"GhostBusters" (first thought.)
Local sheriff (second thought.)

17 posted on 12/15/2011 4:03:14 PM PST by Oatka (This is the USA, assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: LucyT
How can they tell if a foot in a shoe is from the tsunami or from the usual disembodied feet that normally wash ashore in that area?

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/11/10/another-severed-foot-washes-ashore-in-british-columbia-unlike-other-12/

Authorities checked every IHOP with no luck in finding the owners.

18 posted on 12/15/2011 4:10:24 PM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult (Those who trade land for peace will end up with neither one.)
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To: Stoat; TigerLikesRooster

Pinging TLR.

I would think that ocean currents carrying radioactivity might have mixed with some of this debris, even though most of it would not have been radioactive (or any of it) when carried off by the tsunami.


19 posted on 12/15/2011 4:58:11 PM PST by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell.)
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To: little jeremiah

It would make quite a scene if miles of debris show up near the beach. Debris covering the sea up to horizon.


20 posted on 12/15/2011 5:08:19 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: Stoat

I’ve been hearng about this story for months, but not one fly over picture of the aforementioned debris.


21 posted on 12/15/2011 5:10:59 PM PST by stockpirate (Newt and Romney are both Big Government socialists.)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult
IHOP

That's just bad!

[laughing anyway.]

22 posted on 12/15/2011 5:12:50 PM PST by LucyT
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To: Stoat

Awww, you’re welcome.


23 posted on 12/15/2011 5:24:26 PM PST by LucyT
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To: stockpirate
I’ve been hearng about this story for months, but not one fly over picture of the aforementioned debris.

 

And no remote sensors dropped into the debris to transmit location / radiation data so that whatever hazard exists (if any) can be better calculated & planned for by emergency services.

Instead, we have to wait until some kid picks up something on the beach, puts it in his mouth & dies of radiation poisoning?

24 posted on 12/15/2011 5:56:04 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Oatka

“GhostBusters” (first thought.)”

That was what sprung from my lips as I read that post too, and my wife called me a sick-o.

GMTA.


25 posted on 12/15/2011 6:43:19 PM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Stoat

I received this email in response an email I sent alerting NOAA to some debris I found on a beach in Oregon recently that looks to be Japanese in origin.
-J.H


Thank you for contacting us and for your interest and vigilance for Japan tsunami marine debris. As you have probably seen, there is quite a bit of information out there regarding Japan tsunami marine debris, some of it is misleading or not explained properly. We have a web page up on our site with updated information on Japan tsunami marine debris. Any help you can provide in getting our web page and information out there would be greatly appreciated
http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/japanfaqs.html.

As you know, it is very difficult to discern debris from the Japan tsunami event. Movement of Japan tsunami marine debris across the North Pacific Ocean this quickly is unlikely, but not outside the realm of possibility. We are working with numerous modelers to figure this out, as well as other partners to see if we can source-identify the debris that has been reported. Our findings will be published on our website, listed above.

If you are interested (and walk your local beach with some frequency), the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) has developed the attached Shoreline Survey Field Guide in order to evaluate and monitor the types and abundance of marine debris at a shoreline site. Effective monitoring of changes in environmental conditions, such as the abundance of marine debris, requires a good deal of forethought.

Monitoring projects should have clearly stated objectives and use agreed-upon methods and field measurements to allow for comparability of data with previous research and that conducted in other areas. Quality marine debris monitoring data can be used to assess spatial and temporal trends and measure the effectiveness of strategies to address the issue.

An electronic data sheet is provided to assist in your data analysis efforts. At this time the MDP does not have the capacity to regularly analyze monitoring data coming in from various groups. We are planning to conduct periodic calls for data; if you are interested in being included in data calls, please send an email to MD.monitoring@noaa.gov.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Best wishes for safe and informative shoreline surveys!

Neal Parry
NOAA Marine Debris


26 posted on 01/31/2012 4:56:50 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Thank you very much for your important and informative post. I must apologize, I’ve been away from FR for awhile and so haven’t thanked you properly for that reason. Your kindness and forthrightness in keeping other FReepers up to date on this issue is sincerely appreciated. :-)

Fox News has a new article on this debris field which I’ll be posting in a few minutes. Thanks again for your post :-)


27 posted on 02/16/2012 10:18:11 AM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: All

UPDATE

 

Fox News has some updated information on the debris field which may be of interest to readers, particularly those on the West Coast ;-)

Because it's from Fox News, I'm required to edit it heavily.  I'll post the highlights here but going to the original article will be the best thing to do.

 

25 million tons of tsunami debris floating toward US shores - Fox News

(edit)

But no one's tracking the debris, Jim Churnside, a physicist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency's (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, told FoxNews.com. 

(edit)

Churnside expects models of the debris path from last summer are probably accurate. 



 The debris is not expected to be radioactive. Carey Morishige, the Pacific Islands Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, told science blog Earthsky.org that radioactivity is probably not an issue, since the tsunami carried most of the debris seaward before the failure of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor.

 

(edit)

(The pic below is a computer model/projection of the expected path....not an actual indicator of the current debris field position.  More pics and a video are available at the Fox site.)

Day 995.JPG

28 posted on 02/16/2012 10:38:31 AM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: Stoat

That debris field is larger than the country of Japan...In fact, it’s larger than the western United States. I know they said it’s not an actual indicator, but that’s an absurd depiction.


29 posted on 02/16/2012 10:47:31 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Stoat

That debris field is larger than the country of Japan...In fact, it’s larger than the western United States. I know they said it’s not an actual indicator, but that’s an absurd depiction.


30 posted on 02/16/2012 10:47:53 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: dragnet2

Indeed....I guess the computer model is including projections of the maximum spread of even the smallest particles of debris, and so it looks absolutely overwhelming to the entire West Coast when the reality is quite different.


31 posted on 02/16/2012 10:57:56 AM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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To: All; KevinDavis
 I'm noticing that the overall shape of the debris field, as suggested by the computer model, is rather similar to that of "The Doomsday Machine" from the Star Trek episode of the same name.

Coincidence, or alien plot?

 

 

Day 995.JPG

 

 

Footage of The Doomsday Machine in action here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj1idKXAiCk

32 posted on 02/16/2012 12:33:44 PM PST by Stoat (If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face... forever)
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