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Great Pacific garbage patch

Gyre of debris in the North Pacific Ocean

Great Pacific garbage patch (Under CC License)

The Great Pacific garbage patch, also described as the Pacific trash vortex, is a gyre of marine debris particles in the north central Pacific Ocean. It is located roughly from 135Β°W to 155Β°W and 35Β°N to 42Β°N. The collection of plastic and floating trash, which comes primarily from countries in Asia, lies halfway between Hawaii and California. It extends over an indeterminate area of widely varying range, depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area. The patch is characterized by exceptionally high relative pelagic concentrations of plastic, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Despite the common public image of islands of floating rubbish, its low density prevents detection by satellite imagery, or even by casual boaters or divers in the area. It consists primarily of an increase in suspended, often microscopic, particles in the upper water column.

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