Researchers at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa. have created a simulation predicting the path of debris from the devastating Japanese tsunami on March 11, 2011.
The computer model, based on historical trajectories of drifting buoys, shows flotsam slowly diffusing Eastwards across the Pacific. The first wave reaching Northwestern Hawaii in about a year, the rest of Hawaii in a couple of years and in three years the plume hitting the US west coast.
The trash is expected to break into smaller pieces over time, much of it ending up circling the North Pacific Garbage Patch, or being dumped on Hawaii’s reefs and beaches in a second barrage in about 5 years time.