The Atlantis 50W IGY section is used to test ideas about the application of inverse methods to the determination of the absolute geostrophic circulation of the North Atlantic. We argue that the uncertainties in determining the imbalances of relative layer-transports in the deep layers are so great that the heavy weight given them in the Wunsch-Grant (1982) charts of absolute circulation yields results that are artificially dominated by qottom topography and are not realistic....