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Paths of possible debris from storm surge of super typhoon Haiyan
Should the storm surge of Haiyan have generated marine debris, the color contours in the map show the likely positions for different types of objects 10 days after Haiyan’s landfall, according to the simulation from the model adapted from the one developed for the 2011 tsunami debris from Japan. Color contours show areas where different types of debris (windages) may be floating. Image credit: Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Hafner.

Paths of possible debris from storm surge of super typhoon Haiyan

Images of the storm surge from super typhoon Haiyan as it struck the city of Tacloban on November 8 awaken memories of the tsunami devastation in Japan a little over 2½ years ago. How much and what kind of debris the storm surge washed into the ocean is not yet known. Should such debris have been generated, however, a large fraction would be expected to move westward through the Philippine Archipelago into the South China Sea according to the model adapted from the one developed for the 2011 tsunami debris by Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Hafner at the University of Hawai‘i  at Mānoa’s International Pacific Research Center. Whether it might reach the coasts of Vietnam or will be diverted by currents and winds to different shores of the South China Sea remains unclear.

Scientist Contacts:
Nikolai Maximenko, senior scientist, InternationalPacificResearchCenter, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu; email: maximenk@hawaii.edu
Jan Hafner, scientific computer programmer, InternationalPacificResearchCenter, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu; email: jhafner@hawaii.edu

About IPRC:
The International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, is a climate research center founded to gain greater understanding of the climate system and the nature and causes of climate variation in the Asia-Pacific region and how global climate changes may affect the region. Established under the “U.S.-Japan Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective” in October 1997, the IPRC is a collaborative effort between agencies in Japan and the United States.

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