Abstract

Time-averaged intensities are computed for the glitter pattern of sunlight on a wind-ruffled sea. In the present work the azimuthally asymmetric form of the wave-slope distribution measured by Cox and Munk is used, so that the glitter pattern depends on the wind direction as well as magnitude. Results are calculated for both a clean ocean surface and one covered with an oil film. The glitter pattern is quite different with the oil film due to the quieting action of the oil on the waves, the greater reflectivity of the surface when oil is on the surface, and the larger values of polarization for the reflected light at most typical angles in the glitter pattern. These effects are illustrated and discussed as possible methods for the detection of oil slicks. The glitter pattern observed at satellite altitudes is also calculated.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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