The amount of marine debris washed ashore on a beach in Newport, Oregon, USA was observed automatically and sequentially using a webcam system. To investigate potential causes of the temporal variability of marine debris abundance, its time series was compared with those of satellite-derived wind speeds and sea surface height off the Oregon coast. Shoreward flow induced by downwelling-favorable southerly winds increases marine debris washed ashore on the beach in winter. We also found that local sea-level rise caused by westerly winds, especially at spring tide, moved the high-tide line toward the land, so that marine debris littered on the beach was likely to re-drift into the ocean. Seasonal and sub-monthly fluctuations of debris abundance were well reproduced using a simple numerical model driven by satellite-derived wind data, with significant correlation at 95% confidence level.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science