We performed extensive bidirectional reflectance measurements on dry, wet, and submerged particulate layers with various albedos to investigate the darkening effect caused by wetting with fluids. It was found that, in addition to the reduction of the refractive index contrast when there is a pore liquid (wetted), the concentration of translucent grains in a particulate layer and the surface roughness conditions of the individual grains make important contributions to the wetting-induced darkening effect. Reflectance measurements on glass–sediment mixtures confirmed that, as the concentration of translucent particles increases, the reflectance of the dry layers increases while that of the wetted layers decreases. Measurements indicate that neither the prediction made by the theory of Twomey et al. [Appl. Opt. 25, 431 (1986)] nor that of Lekner and Dorf [Appl. Opt. 27, 1278 (1988)] is sufficient.
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