The book provides best estimates of carbon and nutrient fluxes in seven types of continental margins. In each type, these fluxes are reported in detail individually for 3-7 representative geographic regions, each of which is characterized by concise descriptions of the physical and biogeochemical settings. Drawn from the regional synthesis, a global synthesis is put together for carbon fluxes exchanged between continental margins as a whole and the atmosphere and between that and the open ocean. Global syntheses on sediments and nutrients discharged to the ocean from land are also provided in the book. To guide future research on continental margin biogeochemistry, the book also elaborates on a few critical themes that emerged in recent years. One of these is the human impact on the continental margin biogeochemistry, which accentuates the need to include human perturbation of the system in future research. Thus the book represents the state-of-the-art knowledge on the subject, which will be needed for all researchers on continental margin environmental issues.
The book is the result of collaboration between the Joint Global Flux Study (JGOFS) and Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) projects through the Continental Margins Task Team (CMTT) and written by 188 contributors. It represents a milestone in bringing together the open ocean and coastal zone communities and provides results that set the stage for future work in continental margins, particularly in LOICZ, IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research) and SOLAS (Surface Ocean -Lower Atmosphere Study).