Abstract

Polarization states of the underwater light field were measured by a hyperspectral and multiangular polarimeter and a video polarimeter under various atmospheric, surface, and water conditions, as well as solar and viewing geometries, in clear oceanic waters near Port Aransas, Texas. Some of the first comprehensive comparisons were made between the measured polarized light, including the degree and angle of linear polarization and linear Stokes parameters (Q and U), and those from Monte Carlo simulations that used concurrently measured water inherent optical properties and particle volume scattering functions as input. For selected wavelengths in the visible spectrum, measured and model-simulated polarization characteristics were found to be consistent in most cases. Measured degree and angle of linear polarization are found to be largely determined by an in-water single-scattering model. Model simulations suggest that the degree of linear polarization (DoLP) at horizontal viewing directions is highly dependent on the viewing azimuth angle for a low solar elevation. This implies that animals can use the DoLP signal for orientation.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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