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Marine Debris Survey at the Pacific Northwest
August 2013 Research Overview:

On August 28, 2013, we did another arrival situation research of Asian marine debris and Japan Tsunami related debris at the coast of Ocean Shores in Washington State.
However, we did not see much debris at this research.
A possible explanation as to why we did not see as much Asian originated marine debris this summer at the shores of the Pacific Northwest may be due to the patterns below.
This data illustrates SLP (Sea Level Pressure) anomalies and wind vectors of July 2013 in the Northern Pacific. This record brings to attention a higher pressure system than previous years, which appears to have affected general patterns in course of wind and ocean currents. Looking along the Pacific Northwest coast, there is southwesterly direction in wind, and away from the coastline. Debris caught in the convergence zone therefore may not have reached observed shores, but continued to ride the current back westward.

(Climate Diagnostic Bulletin of NOAA’s National Weather Service)
We also checked the radiation levels of sea water, seaweeds on the edge of the surf, sand, but did not find any higher readings compared to background radiation levels of the area.
Country of Origin China Japan Others* Total
No. 4 1 0 5
*refers to debris believed to originate in Asia, but is unidentifiable to a specific country
Center of Research (GPS Coordinate): 47.179066, -124.198294  Research sphere: 200m x 1,000m    

Photo Courtesy: Google Earth 
Item No.: 13828-5 Date Collected: August 28, 2013
Located at: 47.181612, -124.19898
Category: Fabricated wood joint Size & Weight: 12.5cm x 190cm
Country Originally Manufactured: Presumably from Japan

12cm x 12cm is the standard dimensions of pillars in Japan. The joint fabrication technique that is typically used in Japanese wood structures is known as Oikake Daisen Tsugite (Double-locked joint fabrication). This technique can be seen in the bottom left photo, where this piece would have been joined with a second wood piece. Under standard specifications, the length of the joint fabrication should be three times the length of the pillar width. In the case of the pillar we found, the length of the joint fabrication is 37.5cm and follows properly follows those specifications. The two pieces are then fixed in place with wooden corks (Komisen), as visible in the upper photo.

However, there are no indications that the pillar found is related to tsunami debris.

Item No.: 13828-1 Date Collected: August 28, 2013
Located at: 47.1811642, -124.19898
Category: Plastic water bottle Size & Weight: 6cm x 23cm
Country Originally Manufactured: Guanzhou City, Canton, China
Information: Nongfu Spring Co. Ltd
Item No.: 13828-2 Date Collected: August 28, 2013
Located at: 47.180598, -124.199163
Category: Plastic water bottle Size & Weight: 6cm x 13cm
Country Originally Manufactured: Guanzhon City, Canton, China
Information: DANONE Beverages Inc.
Item No.: 13828-3 Date Collected: August 28, 2013
Located at: 47.180051, -124.198154
Category: Cigarette container cap Size & Weight: 7cm x 0.8cm
Country Originally Manufactured: Hong Kong, China
Information: Nanyang Brothers Tobacco Company Ltd. established 1905.
Item No.: 13828-4 Date Collected: August 28, 2013
Located at: 47.179358, -124.198594
Category: Plastic water bottle cap Size & Weight: 3cm x 1cm
Country Originally Manufactured: Guangzhou City, Canton, China
Information: Nongfu Spring Co. Ltd.

Why do a marine debris survey in the Pacific Northwest?
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