The regional coverage of Lamont nephelometer data in the North and South Atlantic can be used to map seawater turbidity at all depths. At the level of the clearest water, in the mid-depth regions, the turbidity distribution primarily reflects the pattern of productivity in the surface waters. This suggests that the 'background' turbidity level in the oceans is largely a function of biogenic fallout. The bottom waters of the western Atlantic generally exhibit large increases in turbidity. The most intense benthic nepheloid layers are in the southwestern Argentine basin and northern North American basin; the lowest bottom water turbidity in the western Atlantic is in the equatorial regions. Both the Argentine and North American basin bottom waters appear to derive their high turbidity largely from local resuspension of terrigenous input in these basins. In contrast to the west, the eastern Atlantic basins show very low turbidities with the exception of three regions: the Mediterranean outflow area, the Cape basin, and the West European basin. ?? 1976.