We present a model for infrared radiance contrast of native and crude oil covered water surfaces. This model is based on the so called “direct” approach by treating individual volumetric elements as incoherent radiators. The total emitted radiation is calculated by the sum of individual contributions from the oil film and the underlying water, respectively. Therefore, different temperatures can be assigned to the oil film and water assuming quasi-static temperature distribution, enabling modeling of differential heating of the oil film during daytime. This model can be applied to remote sensing, particularly, to explain the historically observed thickness-dependent contrast in native and crude oil covered sea surfaces.
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