Physical, Chemical, and Optical Measures of Suspended-Particle Concentrations: Their Intercomparison and Application to the West African Shelf

  • Kendall L. Carder
  • Peter R. Betzer
  • Donald W. Eggimann
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 4)


A property of oceanic particulate matter referred to as “apparent density” was calculated by dividing the weight of suspended particulate matter CSPM) by the volume of particles. This parameter is equal to “mass density” for particles, such as minerals, containing little water. Apparent density calculations were made for a series of samples collected on R/V Trident cruise 112 to the continental shelves of Sierra Leone and Liberia. These values ranged from 0.104 to 1.79 for samples with particulate organic carbon fractions (POC/SPM) ranging from 0.486 to 0.037.

Cross sections of salinity, light scattering β(A5), suspended particulate matter (SPM), and β(45)/total surface area for this region of the west African shelf showed a northwestward-flowing bottom current laden with inorganic sediment having a high apparent density and s southeastward-flowing, organic-rich (low apparent density) surface current. Of the measures of particle concentration applied to these waters, SPM and β(45) showed greatest correlation (r =.960), suggesting that apparent density is highly correlated with the particle index of refraction. Total particulate volume and total particulate surface area data were not nearly as well correlated with either β(45) or SPM; optical /physical theories are proposed to explain this phenomenon.


Suspend Particulate Matter Particulate Organic Carbon Apparent Density Coulter Counter Inorganic Particle 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kendall L. Carder
    • 1
  • Peter R. Betzer
    • 1
  • Donald W. Eggimann
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South FloridaUSA

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