Abstract

Reflected skylight in above-water measurements of diffuse marine reflectance can be reduced substantially by viewing the surface through an analyzer transmitting the vertically polarized component of incident radiance. For maximum reduction of effects, radiometric measurements should be made at a viewing zenith angle of ∼45° (near the Brewster angle) and a relative azimuth angle between solar and viewing directions greater than 90° (backscattering), preferably 135°. In this case the residual reflected skylight in the polarized signal exhibits minimum sensitivity to the sea state and can be corrected to within a few 10-4 in reflectance units. For most oceanic waters the resulting relative error on the diffuse marine reflectance in the blue and green is less than 1%. Since the water body polarizes incident skylight, the measured polarized reflectance differs from the total reflectance. The difference, however, is small for the considered geometry. Measurements made at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography pier in La Jolla, Calif., with a specifically designed scanning polarization radiometer, confirm the theoretical findings and demonstrate the usefulness of polarization radiometry for measuring diffuse marine reflectance.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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