Abstract

An approximate linear relationship between the scattering coefficient and the wavelength of light in the visible is found in case 1 and case 2 waters. From this relationship, we estimate scattering at an unknown wavelength from scattering at a single measured wavelength. This approximation is based on measurements in a 1.5-m-thick surface layer collected with an AC9 instrument at 63 stations in the Arabian Sea, northern Gulf of Mexico, and coastal North Carolina. The light-scattering coefficient at 412 nm ranged from 0.2 to 15.1 m-1 in these waters, and the absorption coefficient at 412 nm ranged from 0.2 to 4.0 m-1. A separate data set for 100 stations from Oceanside, California, and Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, was used to validate the relationship. Although the Oceanside waters were considerably different from the developmental data set (based on absorption-to-scattering ratios and single-scattering albedos), the average error between modeled and measured scattering values was 6.0% for the entire test data set over all wavelengths (without regard to sign). The slope of the spectral scattering relationship decreases progressively from high-scattering, turbid waters dominated by suspended sediments to lower-scattering, clear waters dominated by phytoplankton.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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