This study investigated the organic carbon and calcium carbonate contents in the continental margin sediments off northeastern Taiwan. The suspended particle concentration in the water column was also examined. The purpose of the research was to investigate the organic carbon distribution in sediments and its possible controlling mechanism. Results showed the organic carbon distributed in a zonation pattern. Lowest organic carbon concentrations were found in the shelf sediments while high concentrations were observed in the upper continental slope sediments. The results strongly indicated that the lateral particle transportation across the continental shelf was the controlling mechanism.