WIND AND WATER

Ocean gyres

There are 5 main ocean gyres: North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Indian Ocean. Located in the Horse Latitudes (between 30 and 35 degrees north and south), these areas are known to have calm waters and little precipitation or winds. An ocean gyre is a large system of circular ocean currents comprised of ocean currents that link up as they follow the coastlines of the Earth’s continents. Each gyre has a powerful western boundary current and a weaker eastern boundary current.

Garbage Patches form because the circular motion of the gyre draws in the debris, mostly small particles of plastic, eventually the debris makes its way to the center of the gyre where it becomes trapped. Due to the region’s lack of movement, debris accumulates for years and breaks down into microscopic pieces that creates a kind of plastic soup.