OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 40, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 2001
  • pp: 3614–3621

Separating the fluorescence and reflectance components of coral spectra

Eran Fuchs  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 40, Issue 21, pp. 3614-3621 (2001)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (126 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The optical signal leaving the surface of fluorescing corals is a combination of elastic and inelastic scatter. A new experimental method was developed to separate the fluorescence and the reflectance components that involves measurements with and without a long-pass cutoff filter that eliminates the fluorescence contribution to the signal. The required measurements were performed underwater to demonstrate the applicability of the method for in situ applications. Computations with prototype rather than individually measured fluorescence emission spectra do not significantly compromise the accuracy of the results. A model was developed for calculating the interaction of the reflectance and the fluorescence components with new incident illumination conditions. The model calculations were supported by field experiment. We show that the contribution of fluorescence to some coral’s spectra in various illumination conditions justifies consideration in optical models. The results are applicable to modeling the spectra of fluorescing corals under any irradiance spectrum and interpreting remote-sensing data in the relevant wavelength range. Further research is necessary to examine the significance of fluorescence near coral reefs at various scales.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.0010) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric and oceanic optics
(300.6280) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, fluorescence and luminescence

Original Manuscript: January 5, 2001
Revised Manuscript: March 19, 2001
Published: July 20, 2001

Eran Fuchs, "Separating the fluorescence and reflectance components of coral spectra," Appl. Opt. 40, 3614-3621 (2001)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. Kawaguti, “On the physiology of reef corals VI, study of the pigments,” Palao Trop. Biol. Stand. Stud. 2, 617–674 (1944).
  2. C. Limbaugh, W. J. North, “Fluorescent, benthic, Pacific Coast coelenterates,” Nature (London) 178, 497–498 (1956). [CrossRef]
  3. L. Marden, “Camera under the sea,” Natl. Geogr. 109, 162–200 (1956).
  4. C. H. Mazel, “Spectral measurements of fluorescence emission in Caribbean cnidarians,” Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 120, 185–191 (1995). [CrossRef]
  5. A. Logan, K. Halcrow, T. Tomascik, “Notes—UV excitation–fluorescence in polyp tissues of certain scleractinian corals from Barbados and Bermuda,” Bull. Mar. Sci. 46, 807–813 (1990).
  6. M. R. Myers, J. T. Hardy, C. H. Mazel, P. Dustan, “Report: optical spectra and pigmentation of Caribbean reef corals and macroalgae,” Coral Reefs 18, 179–186 (1999). [CrossRef]
  7. M. K. Wicksten, “Camouflage in marine invertebrates,” Ocean. Mar. Bio. Ann. Rev. 21, 177–193 (1983).
  8. C. H. Mazel, “Coral fluorescence characteristics: excitation-emission spectra, fluorescence efficiencies, and contribution to apparent reflectance,” in Ocean Optics XIII, S. G. Ackleson, R. Frouin, eds., Proc. SPIE2963, 240–245 (1997). [CrossRef]
  9. E. Fuchs, “Fluorescence in reef corals,” Ph.D. dissertation (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., 1999).
  10. F. Grum, “Colorimetry of fluorescent materials,” in Optical Radiation Measurements, Vol. 2. (Academic, New York, 1980), Chap. 6.
  11. J. Leland, N. Johnson, A. Arechchi, “Principles of bispectral fluorescence colorimetry,” in Photometric Engineering of Sources and Systems, A. V. Arecchi, ed., Proc. SPIE3140, 76–87 (1997). [CrossRef]
  12. E. Allen, “Separation of the spectral radiance factor curve of fluorescent substances into reflected and fluoresced components,” Appl. Opt. 12, 289–293 (1973). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. The Photonics Design and Applications Handbook 4 (Laurin Publishing, Pittsfield, Mass., 1994).
  14. I. D. Campbell, R. A. Dwek, Biological Spectroscopy (Benjamin/Cummings Science, Menlo Park, Calif., 1984).
  15. A. Savitzky, M. J. E. Golay, “Smoothing and differentiation of data by simplified least squares procedure,” Anal. Chem. 36, 1627–1639 (1964). [CrossRef]
  16. C. H. Mazel, “Diver-operated instrument for in situ measurement of spectral fluorescence and reflectance of benthic marine organisms and substrates,” Opt. Eng. 36, 2612–2617 (1997). [CrossRef]
  17. E. Fux, C. Mazel, “Unmixing of coral fluorescence emission spectra and prediction of new spectra under different excitation conditions,” Appl. Opt. 38, 486–495 (1999). [CrossRef]

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

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited