OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 1998
  • pp: 4765–4776

Apparent Optical Properties of Oceanic Water: Dependence on the Molecular Scattering Contribution

André Morel and Hubert Loisel  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 21, pp. 4765-4776 (1998)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (309 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The relationships between the apparent optical properties (AOP’s) and the inherent optical properties (IOP’s) of oceanic water bodies have been reinvestigated by solution of the radiative transfer equation. This reexamination deals specifically with oceanic case 1 waters (those for which phytoplankton and their associated particles or substances control their inherent optical properties). In such waters, when the chlorophyll content is low enough (in most of the entire ocean), the influence of molecular scattering by water molecules is not negligible, leading to a gradual change in the shape of the phase function. The effect of this change on the AOP’s is analyzed. The effect of the existence of diffuse sky radiation in addition to the direct solar radiation on AOP–IOP relationships is also examined. Practical parameterizations are proposed to predict in case 1 waters, and at various depths, the vertical attenuation coefficient for downward irradiance (<i>K</i><sub><i>d</i></sub>) as a function of the IOP’s and solar angle. These parameterizations are valid for the spectral domain where inelastic scattering does not significantly occur (wavelengths below 590 nm).

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering

André Morel and Hubert Loisel, "Apparent Optical Properties of Oceanic Water: Dependence on the Molecular Scattering Contribution," Appl. Opt. 37, 4765-4776 (1998)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. C. D. Mobley, Light and Water: Radiative Transfer in Natural Waters (Academic, San Diego, Calif. 1994).
  2. R. W. Preisendorfer, “Application of radiative transfer theory to light measurements in the sea,” Mongr. Intl. Union Geod. Geophys. Paris 10, 11–30 (1961).
  3. H. R. Gordon and W. R. McCluney, “Estimation of the depth of sun light penetration in the sea for remote sensing,” Appl. Opt. 14, 413–416 (1975).
  4. H. R. Gordon, “Can the Lambert–Beer law be applied to the diffuse attenuation coefficient of ocean water,” Limnol. Oceanogr. 34, 1389–1409 (1989).
  5. H. R. Gordon, “Dependence of diffuse reflectance of natural waters on the Sun angle,” Limnol. Oceanogr. 34, 1484–1489 (1989).
  6. J. T. O. Kirk, “Monte Carlo study of the nature of the underwater light field in, and the relationships between optical properties of, turbid yellow waters,” Aust. J. Mar. Freshwater Res. 32, 517–532 (1981).
  7. J. T. O. Kirk, “Dependence of relationship between inherent and apparent optical properties of water on solar altitude,” Limnol. Oceanogr. 29, 350–356 (1984).
  8. J. T. O. Kirk, “Volume scattering function, average cosines, and the underwater light field,” Limnol. Oceanogr. 36, 455–467 (1991).
  9. T. J. Petzold, “Volume scattering functions for selected natural waters,” Scripps Inst. Oceanogr. Contrib. 72–78 (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, Calif, 1972).
  10. A. Morel and L. Prieur, “Analysis of variations in ocean color,” Limnol. Oceanogr. 22, 709–722 (1977).
  11. G. H. R., and A. Y. Morel, Remote Assessment of Ocean Color for Interpretation of Satellite Visible Imagery: a Review (Springer-Verlag, New York 1983), p. 114.
  12. A. Morel and B. Gentili, “Diffuse reflectance of oceanic waters: its dependence on Sun angles as influenced by the molecular scattering contribution,” Appl. Opt. 30, 4427–4438 (1991).
  13. A. Morel and B. Gentili, “Diffuse reflectance of oceanic waters: bidirectional aspects,” Appl. Opt. 32, 6864–6879 (1993).
  14. S. Sugihara, M. Kishino, and N. Okami, “Contribution of Raman scattering to upward irradiance in the sea,” J. Oceanogr. Soc. Jpn. 40, 397–404 (1984).
  15. V. I. Haltrin, G. W. Kattawar, and A. D. Weidemann, “Modeling of elastic and inelastic scattering effects in oceanic optics,” in Ocean Optics XIII, S. G. Ackleson, ed. Proc. SPIE 2963, 597–602 (1996).
  16. C. D. Mobley, B. Gentili, H. R. Gordon, J. Zhonghai, G. W. Kattawar, A. Morel, P. Reinersman, K. Stamnes, and R. H. Stavn, “Comparison of numerical models for computing underwater light fields,” Appl. Opt. 32, 7484–7504 (1993).
  17. L. Prieur and S. Sathyendranath, “An optical classification of coastal and oceanic waters based on the specific absorption curves of phytoplankton pigments, dissolved organic matter, and other particulate materials,” Limnol. Oceanogr. 26, 671–689 (1981).
  18. A. Bricaud, A. Morel, and L. Prieur, “Absorption by dissolved organic matter of the sea (yellow substance) in the UV and visible domains,” Limnol. Oceanogr. 26, 43–53 (1981).
  19. L. Elterman, “UV, visible, and IR attenuation for altitude to 50 km,” Rep. AFCRL-68–0153 (U.S. Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory, Bedford, Mass., 1968).
  20. E. P. Shettle and R. W. Fenn, “Models for the aerosols of the lower atmosphere and the effects of humidity variations on their optical properties,” environmental res. paper 675, AFGL-TR-79–0214 (U.S. Air Force Geophysics Laboratories, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., 1979).
  21. C. Cox and W. Munk, “Some problems in optical oceanography,” J. Mar. Res. 14, 63–78 (1955).
  22. L. Prieur and A. Morel, “Etude théorique du régime asymptotique: relation entre caractéristiques optiques et coefficient d’extinction relatif à la pénétration de la lumière du jour,” Cah. Oceanogr. 23, 35–47 (1971).
  23. A. Morel and B. Gentili, “Diffuse reflectance of oceanic waters. III. Implication of bidirectionality for the remote sensing problem,” Appl. Opt. 35, 4850–4862 (1996).
  24. The optical thicknesses for the aerosol assemblages considered for the present computations and in Figs. 8 and 9 are 0.230, 0.222, 0.211, 0.198, 0.182 for λ = 410, 443, 490, 560, 665 nm, respectively, when τa(550) = 0.2. When τa(550) = 0.4 or τa (550) = 0.8 the corresponding τa(λ) values are 0.444, 0.433, 0.417, 0.397, and 0.374 or 0.871, 0.853, 0.828, 0.796, and 0.758, respectively.
  25. J. H. Ryther, “Photosynthesis and fish production in the sea,” Science 166, 72–76 (1969).
  26. D. Antoine, J. M. André, and A. Morel, “Ocean primary production. 2. Estimation at global scale from satellite (coastal zone color scanner) chlorophyll,” Global Biogeochem. Cycles 10, 57–69 (1996).
  27. R. C. Smith and K. S. Baker, “The bio-optical state of ocean waters and remote sensing,” Limnol. Oceanogr. 23, 247–259 (1978).
  28. H. R. Gordon, O. B. Brown, R. H. Evans, J. W. Brown, R. C. Smith, K. S. Baker, and D. K. Clark, “A semianalytic radiance model of ocean color,” J. Geophys. Res. 93, 10,909–10, 924 (1988).
  29. A. Morel, “Optical modeling of the upper ocean in relation to its biogenous matter content (case 1 waters),” J. Geophys. Res. 93, 10,749–10, 768 (1988).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited