Assemblages of organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts (dinocysts) from 116 marine surface samples have been analysed to assess the relationship between the spatial distribution of dinocysts and modern local environmental conditions [e.g. sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface salinity (SSS), productivity] in the eastern Indian Ocean. Results from the percentage analysis and statistical methods such as multivariate ordination analysis and end-member modelling, indicate the existence of three distinct environmental and oceanographic regions in the study area. Region 1 is located in western and eastern Indonesia and controlled by high SSTs and a low nutrient content of the surface waters. The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) region (Region 2) is dominated by heterotrophic dinocyst species reflecting the region's high productivity. Region 3 is encompassing the area offshore north-west and west Australia which is characterised by the water masses of the Leeuwin Current, a saline and nutrient depleted southward current featuring energetic eddies.
- Eastern Indian Ocean
- Marine surface sediments
- Organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts
- Sea surface conditions