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A study of the optical characteristics of the suspended particles in the benthic nepheloid layer of the Scotian Rise Public Deposited

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  • Light transmission profiles have been used to study the optical properties of the suspended particles which are characteristic of the area of the Scotian Rise in the North Atlantic Ocean. This area is typified by very strong bottom currents and a highly variable bedform morphology. A good correlation (r = 0.96) has been found between the suspended volume and the light beam attenuation coefficient. This correlation is consistent with the fact that the cumulative slope of the hyperbolic particle size distribution is nearly constant throughout the region (slope = 3.1 ± 0.3). Numerical analysis of the optical data is in conjunction with particle size analysis yields values of the index of refraction of the suspended particles of 1.20 ± 0.07 relative to water. The conclusion drawn from these results is that the Scotian Rise benthic zone is characterized by suspended particles of high relative index of refraction and size distributions which do not vary much with altitude above bottom or over periods of time of more than a year in spite of the extensive fluctuations in activity of the region.
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  • Spinrad, R., J. Zaneveld, and J. Kitchen (1983), A study of the optical characteristics of the suspended particles in the benthic nepheloid layer of the Scotian Rise, J. Geophys. Res., 88(C12), 7641-7645.
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