Homework 7 - Floating Nikes

On May 27, 1990, 40,000 pairs of sneakers were washed overboard from a ship bound from Korea to Tacoma, Washington. In the months following this northern Pacific Ocean spill, beachcombers found shoes at the locations reported in the table below.

  1. Use the localized map below to plot the data.
  2. From the locations of the shoes that were found, draw arrows to indicate the direction of the North Pacific current.
  3. Calculate the rate of sneaker drift for the first 249 days in miles per day. SHOW YOUR MATH.
  4. What is the rate of drift southward along the coast between the Day 310 location and the Day 340 location? SHOW YOUR MATH.
  5. Using your calculated rate of drift and the direction of the current; place an X on the map where sneakers might be discovered in the future. Write an estimate for the date of sneaker arrival beside your X.
  6. A few sneakers were found along the coast of Alaska. Using your knowledge of the North Atlantic currents, explain how this may happen.


Day Event Latitude Longitude Distance since last discovery (miles)
1 Location of Spill 48 degrees N 161 degrees W -----
190 Location of first shoe discovery 48 degrees N 125 degrees W 1649
249 Location of next shoe discovery 46 degrees N 125 degrees W 138
310 Location of next shoe discovery 45 degrees N 124 degrees W 84
340 Location of next shoe discovery 43 degrees N 125 degrees W 147
730 Location of next shoe discovery 20 degrees N 157 degrees W 2439
1200 Location of last shoe discovery 36 degrees N 140 degrees E (not a typo!!! this says East) 3931


These are east latitudes <--------------> These are west latitudes