OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 24 — Aug. 20, 1999
  • pp: 5104–5107

Results of a Monte Carlo Investigation of the Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient

Brian M. Concannon and Jon P. Davis  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 24, pp. 5104-5107 (1999)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (189 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



There has been a large effort to relate the apparent optical properties of ocean water to the inherent optical properties, which are the absorption coefficient <i>a</i>, the scattering coefficient <i>b</i>, and the scattering phase function ρ(θ). The diffuse attenuation coefficient <i>k</i><sub>diff</sub> has most often been considered an apparent optical property. However, <i>k</i><sub>diff</sub> can be considered a quasi-inherent property <i>k</i><sub>diff</sub>′ when defined as a steady-state light distribution attenuation coefficient. The Honey–Wilson research empirically relates <i>k</i><sub>diff</sub> to <i>a</i> and <i>b</i>. The Honey–Wilson relation most likely applies to a limited range of water types because it does not include dependence on ρ(θ). A series of Monte Carlo simulations were initiated to calculate <i>k</i><sub>diff</sub>′ in an unstratified water column. The calculations, which reflected open ocean water types, used ranges of the single-scattering albedo ω<sub>0</sub> and the mean forward-scattering angle θ<sub><i>m</i></sub> for two analytic phase functions with different shapes. It was found that <i>k</i><sub>diff</sub>′ is nearly independent of the shape of ρ(θ) and can be easily parameterized in terms of <i>a</i>, <i>b</i>, and θ<sub><i>m</i></sub> for 0.11 ≤ θ<sub><i>m</i></sub> ≤ 0.48 rad and 0.5 ≤ ω<sub>0</sub> ≤ 0.95. <i>k</i><sub>diff</sub>′ is an asymptotic quantity; that is, a steady-state distribution is reached only after many scattering lengths.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements

Brian M. Concannon and Jon P. Davis, "Results of a Monte Carlo Investigation of the Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient," Appl. Opt. 38, 5104-5107 (1999)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. See, for example, R. W. Preisendorfer, Hydrologic Optics, U.S. Department of Commerce Pub. PB-259 793 (National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Va., 1976), Vol. 1, pp. 118–119.
  2. G. P. Sorenson, R. C. Honey, and J. R. Payne, “Analysis of the use of airborne laser radar for submarine detection and ranging,” Stanford Research Institute Report 5583 (Stanford Research Institute, Stanford, Calif. 1966).
  3. H. R. Gordon, “Interpretation of airborne oceanic lidar: effects of multiple scattering,” Appl. Opt. 21, 2996–3001 (1982) and references therein.
  4. H. R. Gordon, O. B. Brown, and M. M. Jacobs, “Computed relationships between the inherent and apparent optical properties of a flat homogeneous ocean,” Appl. Opt. 14, 417–427 (1975).
  5. G. C. Guenther, “Airborne LASER hydrography,” NOAA Professional Paper Series (National Ocean Service, Rockville, Md., 1985), p. 167.
  6. G. Plass and G. W. Kattawar, “Radiative transfer in an atmosphere-ocean system,” Appl. Opt. 8, 455–466 (1969).
  7. J. W. McLean, D. R. Crawford, and C. L. Hindman, “Limits of small angle scattering theory,” Appl. Opt. 26, 2053–2054 (1987).
  8. D. Arnush, “Underwater light-beam propagation in the small-angle-scattering approximation,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 62, 1109–1111 (1972).

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