Abstract

Samples of suspended matter in surface waters were collected at 1534 stations off the west coast of Africa during two geophysical cruises of 1972 and 1973. Many positive correlations exist with respect to auxiliary measurements of winds, temperature, salinity, currents, chlorophyll, phytoplankton, zooplankton-nekton, dustfall, and proximity to major river mouths. Some of the relationships can be expressed in terms of oceanic zones. The most concentrated suspended matter (total, organic, and inorganic) occurs above the continental shelf north of Latitude 7 degrees N, where the high concentration of organic matter is due to coastal upwelling (indicated by relatively low temperatures and salinities, and high chlorophyll and phytoplankton concentrations). The high concentration of inorganic matter also present along the coasts is due to contributions by major rivers and heavy dustfall. Secondary concentrations of organic matter and the presence of related parameters typify open-ocean belts of divergence at the equator and south of the Sub-Tropical Convergence (south of Lat. 35 degrees S).

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