Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is one of the least quantified and least understood bioreactive pools of carbon in the Indian Ocean. Data gaps are large, with much of the central Indian Ocean not yet sampled. Here model results depict the surface distribution of DOC, which is interpreted in terms of anticipated net DOC production (13-26 Tmol C a?1), advective transport, and export to the subsurface with overturning circulation. These interpretations are tested against DOC measurements made on sections in the Arabian Sea, across the Agulhas Current, in the central Indian Ocean, and into the Bay of Bengal. The seasonality of net DOC production and consumption is evaluated in the Arabian Sea, where data density is relatively rich. DOC stocks in the upper 150 m of the western Arabian Sea increased by >1.5 mol C m ?2 during the NE monsoon and disappeared rapidly during the SW monsoon. Rapid DOC removal may result in part from aggregation of dust and biogenic particles along with stripping of trace metals and DOC, perhaps as transparent exopolymer particles, from the surrounding waters.