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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 27 — Sep. 20, 1998
  • pp: 6525–6536

Influence of Bubbles on Scattering of Light in the Ocean

Xiaodong Zhang, Marlon Lewis, and Bruce Johnson  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 27, pp. 6525-6536 (1998)

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The scattering and backscattering properties of bubble populations in the upper ocean are estimated with Mie theory and a generalized bubble size spectrum based on <i>in situ</i> observations. Optical properties of both clean bubbles and bubbles coated with an organic film are analyzed; the results are compared with the corresponding optical properties of micro-organisms of similar size. Given a bubble number density (from ~10<sup>5</sup> to ~10<sup>7</sup> m<sup>−3</sup>) frequently found at sea, the bubble populations significantly influence the scattering process in the ocean, especially in oligotrophic waters. Bubbles appear to make a large contribution to the missing terms in constructing the observed total backscattering coefficient of the ocean. This contribution to backscattering is strongly enhanced if the bubbles are coated with organic film. The injection of bubbles will shift ocean color toward the green, resembling phytoplankton blooms, and hence introducing error in ocean color remote sensing if its effect is not corrected.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering

Xiaodong Zhang, Marlon Lewis, and Bruce Johnson, "Influence of Bubbles on Scattering of Light in the Ocean," Appl. Opt. 37, 6525-6536 (1998)

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