Lab Experiments

Dynamics of Ocean Garbage Patches

Laboratory Experiment

Plastic litter floating in the surface waters of the ocean is one of the biggest environmental challenges facing mankind. It can entangle marine animals, they can mistake the plastic materials for food and eat it. Once eaten plastics and the chemicals within them, can enter the food-chain with potentially harmful effects.

We study how ocean currents driven by winds carry and gather together discarded plastics in to particular regions of the ocean in this wind-driven ocean gyre experiment.

Experiment handout and background theory is here.

Ocean data

We explore how ‘tracers’ are transported by currents in the Ocean using the EsGlobe, as described in the handout.