Abstract

Small particles (<10μm) are often considered to play the dominant role in controlling scattering and absorption due to their relatively large numbers, which are typically found in the ocean. Here we present an approach for quantifying the size range of particles that contribute significantly to bulk inherent optical properties. We present a numerical assessment of the variability in optically significant particle sizes for simplistic populations that conform to the assumptions of homogeneous, spherical particles, and power-law size distributions. We use numerical predictions from Mie theory to suggest minimum and maximum particle sizes required for accurate predictions and observations of ocean optics for different particle size distributions (PSDs). When considering observed ranges of PSDs, our predictions suggest the need for measurements of optical properties and particles to capture information from particle sizes between diameters of 0.05–2000 μm in order to properly constrain relationships between particles and their associated optical properties. Natural particle populations in the ocean may present more complex PSDs that could be analyzed using the method presented here to establish optically significant size classes.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (5)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (5)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription