Abstract

Using the computationally efficient discrete-ordinate method, we present an analytical solution for radiative transfer in the coupled atmosphere–ocean system with a rough air–water interface. The theoretical formulations of the radiative transfer equation and solution are described. The effects of surface roughness on the radiation field in the atmosphere and ocean are studied and compared with satellite and surface measurements. The results show that ocean surface roughness has significant effects on the upwelling radiation in the atmosphere and the downwelling radiation in the ocean. As wind speed increases, the angular domain of sunglint broadens, the surface albedo decreases, and the transmission to the ocean increases. The downward radiance field in the upper ocean is highly anisotropic, but this anisotropy decreases rapidly as surface wind increases and as ocean depth increases. The effects of surface roughness on radiation also depend greatly on both wavelength and angle of incidence (i.e., solar elevation); these effects are significantly smaller throughout the spectrum at high Sun. The model-observation discrepancies may indicate that the Cox–Munk surface roughness model is not sufficient for high wind conditions.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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