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 a, the scattering coefficient b, and the scattering phase function ρ(θ). The diffuse attenuation coefficient kdiff has most often been considered an apparent optical property. However, kdiff can be considered a quasi-inherent property kdiff′ when defined as a steady-state light distribution attenuation coefficient. The Honey–Wilson research empirically relates kdiff to a and b. 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 kdiff′ in an unstratified water column. The calculations, which reflected open ocean water types, used ranges of the single-scattering albedo ω0 and the mean forward-scattering angle θ m for two analytic phase functions with different shapes. It was found that kdiff′ is nearly independent of the shape of ρ(θ) and can be easily parameterized in terms of a, b, and θ m for 0.11 ≤ θ m ≤ 0.48 rad and 0.5 ≤ ω0 ≤ 0.95. kdiff′ is an asymptotic quantity; that is, a steady-state distribution is reached only after many scattering lengths.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 30, 1998
Revised Manuscript: April 5, 1999
Published: August 20, 1999
Brian M. Concannon and Jon P. Davis, "Results of a Monte Carlo investigation of the diffuse attenuation coefficient," Appl. Opt. 38, 5104-5107 (1999)