Abstract

The role of minerogenic particles in light scattering in several lakes and a river (total of ten sites) in central New York, which represent a robust range of scattering conditions, was evaluated based on an individual particle analysis technique of scanning electron microscopy interfaced with automated x-ray microanalysis and image analysis (SAX), in situ bulk measurements of particle scattering and backscattering coefficients (bp and bbp), and laboratory analyses of common indicators of scattering. SAX provided characterizations of the elemental x-ray composition, number concentration, particle size distribution (PSD), shape, and projected area concentration of minerogenic particles (PAVm) of sizes >0.4  μm. Mie theory was applied to calculate the minerogenic components of bp(bm) and bbp(bb,m) with SAX data. Differences in PAVm, associated primarily with clay minerals and CaCO3, were responsible for most of the measured differences in both bp and bbp across the study sites. Contributions of the specified minerogenic particle classes to bm were found to correspond approximately to their contributions to PAVm. The estimates of bm represented substantial fractions of bp, whereas those of bb,m were the dominant component of bbp. The representativeness of the estimates of bm and bb,m was supported by their consistency with the bulk measurements. Greater uncertainty prevails for the bb,m estimates than those for bm, associated primarily with reported deviations in particle shapes from sphericity. The PSDs were well represented by the “B” component of the two-component model or a three parameter generalized gamma distribution [Deep-Sea Res. Part I 40, 1459 (1993)]. The widely applied Junge (hyperbolic) function performed poorly in representing the PSDs and the size dependency of light scattering in these systems, by overrepresenting the concentrations of submicrometer particles especially. Submicrometer particles were not important contributors to bm or bb,m.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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