Abstract

Light in the sea may be produced by the sun or stars, by chemical or biological processes, or by man-made sources. Serving as the primary source of energy for the oceans and supporting their ecology, light also enables the native inhabitants of the water world, as well as humans and their devices, to see. In this paper, new data drawn from investigations spanning nearly two decades are used to illustrate an integrated account of the optical nature of ocean water, the distribution of flux diverging from localized underwater light sources, the propagation of highly collimated beams of light, the penetration of daylight into the sea, and the utilization of solar energy for many purposes including heating, photosynthesis, vision, and photography.

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