Fütterer, DK (1980): Quantitative composition and distribution of the silt fraction in surface sediments of the North-West African continental margin. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.548470, Supplement to:Fütterer, Dieter K (1980): Sedimentation am NW-afrikanischen Kontinentalrand: Quantitative Zusammensetzung und Verteilung der Siltfraktion in den Oberflächensedimenten. Meteor Forschungsergebnisse, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Reihe C Geologie und Geophysik, Gebrüder Bornträger, Berlin, Stuttgart, C33, 15-60, hdl:10013/epic.33307.d001
Surface sediments from the continental slope and rise of North-West Africa between the Canary lslands and the Cape Verde Islands are mainly composed of silt-sized material (2-63 µm).
A number of sampling profiles were run normal to the coast and the composition of the silt fraction was determined quantitatively by scanning electron microscope analysis.
The carbonate portion of the sediment was found to be nearly exclusively of biogenic origin. The most important contributors are planktonic foraminifers and coccoliths with minor contributions derived from pteropods.
Plankton-produced biogenic opal such as diatoms and radiolarians play a very minor role. The high production rates of opal-silica plankton which exists in the surface waters of the NW-African upwelling system does not give rise to corresponding increases of opal accumulation in the bottom sediment.
Benthic producers consist mainly of foraminifers and molluscs but the entire input from benthic producers is extremely small. An exception to this occurs in the prodelta sediments of the Senegal river.
Downslope particle transport is indicated by the occurrence of shallow-water coralline algae, ascidian sclerites and cliona boring chips and can be traced as far down as the continental rise.
The non-carbonate silt fraction mostly consists of quartz which is derived as eolian dust from the Sahara desert by the Harmattan and the NE-Trade-wind system.
The percentage of carbonate in the surface sediments directly indicates the relative proportions of autochthonous biogenic components and terrigenous allochthonous quartz particles.