Abstract

The temperature and salt dependencies of absorption by liquid water (H 2O) and heavy water (D 2O) were determined using a hyperspectral absorption and attenuation meter (WET Labs, AC-S). Sodium chloride (NaCl) was used as a proxy for seawater salts. There was no significant temperature (ΨT) or salt (ΨS) dependency of absorption at wavelengths <550  nm. At wavelengths >550   nm, ΨT exhibited peaks at 604, 662, and 740  nm. A small negative trough in ΨS occurred at 590  nm, followed by a small positive peak 620  nm, a larger negative trough at 720  nm, and a strong positive peak at 755  nm. The salt dependency of absorption by heavy water, ΨsH, exhibited a negative power-law shape with very low ΨsH, at wavelengths >550  nm. Our experiments with NaCl, clean open ocean seawater, and artificial seawater support the hypothesis that salts modify the absorption spectra of seawater by modifying the molecular matrix and vibrations of pure water.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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