Geography modules

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Geography 1

A Global Float of Plastic


Key concepts discussed: ocean currents, ocean conveyor belt, thermohaline circulation, gyres, the ocean cleanup


Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students

  • Be able to explain what marine rubbish entails

  • Understand how plastic ends up into the world’s ocean’s

  • Understand the spatial and temporal distribution and dynamics of plastic pollution

  • Know how ocean currents and gyres affect the global distribution of plastic

  • Understand the ocean conveyor belt and how this affects the global distribution of plastic


  1. The oceans in movement

    1. Major ocean currents (tidal currents, wind driven currents and thermohaline circulation)

  2. Ocean Gyres

  3. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

  4. Exercise: something with Boyan Slat