Abstract

The celestial polarization pattern may be scrambled by refraction at the air–water interface. This polarization pattern was examined in shallow waters with a submersible polarimeter, and it was calculated by using land measurements (“semiempirical predictions”) and models of the skylight polarization. Semiempirically predicted and measured e-vector orientations were significantly similar. Conversely, predicted percent polarization was correlated but lower than measurements. Percent polarization depended on wavelength, where at high sun altitudes maximal percent polarization generally appeared in the UV and red spectral regions. The wavelength dependency of polarization may lead to differential spectral sensitivity in polarization-sensitive animals according to time and type of activity.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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