Abstract

Single and multiple scattering by molecules or by atmospheric aerosols only (homogeneous scattering), and heterogeneous scattering by aerosols and molecules, are recorded in Monte Carlo simulations. It is shown that heterogeneous scattering (1) always contributes significantly to the path reflectance (ρpath), (2) is realized at the expense of homogeneous scattering, (3) decreases when aerosols are absorbing, and (4) introduces deviations in the spectral dependencies of reflectances compared with the Rayleigh exponent and the aerosol angstrom exponent. The ratio of ρpath to the Rayleigh reflectance for an aerosol-free atmosphere is linearly related to the aerosol optical thickness. This result provides a basis for a new scheme for atmospheric correction of remotely sensed ocean color observations.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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