Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 171-178

First online:

The coast and shelf of east and northeast Brazil and material transport

  • B. KnoppersAffiliated withDepartamento de Geoquímica, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Outeiro de São João Batista s/n, 24020-007 Niterói, RJ, Brazil
  • , W. EkauAffiliated withZentrum für Marine Tropenökologie, Universität Bremen, Fahrenheitstrasse 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • , A. G. FigueiredoAffiliated withLaboratório de Geologia Marinha, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Av. Litorânea s/n 24210-340 Niterói, RJ, Brazil

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The east and northeast Brazil shelves of the Southwest Atlantic harbor some unique conditions for tropical passive margins with western boundary currents. The narrow and open shelf is almost entirely covered by carbonate sediments due to little freshwater input and the coast is impacted by the South Equatorial Current (SEC). The wide Abrolhos bank of the east Brazil shelf, presents more diverse conditions, as it forms a physical barrier to the Brazil Current, and upwelling and land input become more significant. The main characteristics of the coast and shelf and findings on biogeochemical, sedimentation, and paleoceanographical processes, addressed by the Joint Oceanographic Projects (JOPS) campaigns, are summarized.