Abstract

The amplification of UV irradiance at the Earth’s surface that is due to successive reflections between the snow-covered ground and the scattering atmosphere is analyzed by a method based on decoupling the atmosphere and the surface functions. For a uniform Lambertian surface the amplification factor for the global irradiance depends only on the product of the surface reflectance and the atmospheric backscatter. It varies with wavelength, reaching a maximum near 320 nm; this maximum is close to 50% for clean snow. In UV-B the amplification depends strongly on tropospheric ozone. For non-Lambertian, nonuniform surfaces it is possible, by the same method, to define effective or average reflectances.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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