Abstract

The curious phenomenon of green icebergs has fascinated polar travelers for centuries. Although translucent green icebergs might be caused by colorants, a recently obtained sample of a green iceberg contained little inherently green material. This fact, combined with the blue-green absorption minimum of pure, homogeneous ice, suggests that a sufficient (rather than necessary) condition for green icebergs may be reddened sunlight illuminating intrinsically blue-green ice. Lacking in situ spectral reflectances of green icebergs, we develop two remote-sensing techniques to analyze their optical properties. Estimates of a green iceberg’s reflectance spectra are derived from spectrodensitometry and from video digitizing of original color slides. Proxies for polar daylight spectra yield the iceberg’s chromaticities, which agree closely with those predicted by two multiple-scattering theories.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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