Simulation of movement of marine debris generated by the 2011 tsunami in Japan

Monday, October 15, 2012

The IPRC Surface Currents Diagnostic (SCUD) model is used to simulate evolution of debris field, drifting from the shores of Japan, affected by the 11 March 2011 tsunami. The model is on 1/4° grid. Daily surface velocities are diagnosed using the mean dynamic topography, AVISO anomalies of geostrophic velocities and satellite winds. Local coefficients of the model are tunes to best reproduce concurrent velocities of near-surface drifters. Down-wind velocities are added according to the windage of the model debris, varying from 0% to 5% and shown on the animation in colors, mixed according to the debris concentration and composition. The model is used to assess location of the tsunami debris in the ocean and the timeline of its arrival on the coastline.