The upward radiance just above the ocean surface and at the top of the atmosphere is calculated for a realistic model including an ocean surface with waves. The separate contributions of the sun glitter, the reflected sky radiance, and the upwelling photons from the ocean are calculated. The Monte Carlo method takes account of both Rayleigh scattering by the molecules and Mie scattering by the aerosols as well as molecular and aerosol absorption in the atmosphere. Similarly, in the ocean, both Rayleigh scattering by the water molecules and Mie scattering by the hydrosols as well as absorption by the water molecules and hydrosols are considered. Separate single-scattering functions are used for the aerosols and hydrosols calculated from the Mie theory. Both the reflected and refracted rays, as well as the rays that undergo total internal reflection, are followed at the ocean surface. The wave slope is chosen from the Cox-Munk distribution. The upward radiance just above the ocean surface outside of the sun glitter region is dominated by the reflected sky radiation from the horizon to a nadir angle of observation of from 68° to 23° depending on the azimuthal angle and the solar zenith angle; the upwelling photons from the ocean dominate over the remainder of the hemisphere, except in the region of the sun glitter which centers around the mirror image of the sun on a calm ocean. It is possible to answer various questions about the interaction of light with the ocean from the quantitative results presented here.
© 1976 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 14, 1976
Published: December 1, 1976
Gilbert N. Plass, George W. Kattawar, and John A. Guinn, "Radiance distribution over a ruffled sea: contributions from glitter, sky, and ocean," Appl. Opt. 15, 3161-3165 (1976)