Turbidity Distribution in the Deep Waters of the Western Atlantic Trough

  • Stephen L. Eittreim
  • Maurice Ewing
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 4)


The “background” turbidity (clearest water of the water column) has been mapped in the western Atlantic using standardized nephelometer measurements taken on R/V Conrad cruises 15 and 16. This background has then been utilized as a reference turbidity to map features of the bottom-water turbidity using older unstandard-ized relative nephelometer profiles. Variations in background turbidity of a factor of 3 apparently reflect the pattern of biological productivity in the overlying surface waters: high background in an equatorial belt and in latitudes greater than the subtropical convergences, but low background in the temperate latitudes. The resulting distributions of near-bottom turbidity values show a maximum in the southwestern Argentine Basin and a lesser maximum along the continental rise of the North American Basin. Bottom turbidity in the nepheloid layer decreases from both basins toward the equator and appears to be both a function of bottom current velocity and proximity to terrigenous sediment sources.


Bottom Water Continental Rise Nepheloid Layer Antarctic Bottom Water Western Atlantic Ocean 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen L. Eittreim
    • 1
  • Maurice Ewing
    • 1
  1. 1.Lamont-Doherty Geological ObservatoryUniversity of TexasUSA

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