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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 42, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2003
  • pp: 309–317

Halo polarization profiles and sampled ice crystals: observations and interpretation

Gunther P. Können, Herman R. A. Wessels, and Jaap Tinbergen  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 42, Issue 3, pp. 309-317 (2003)

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Simultaneous two-wavelength polarization and radiance distributions have been obtained for 22° parhelia in four Antarctic ice-crystal swarms that extended to ground level. Samples of crystals that produced these parhelia were collected and replicated. The wavelength dependence of the width of the halo polarization peak agrees with Fraunhofer diffraction theory, indicating that the broadening of the halos is caused primarily by diffraction. However, the observed broadening is much more than predicted from the size distribution of the replicated crystals. From one halo display to the other, the ratio of observed/predicted broadening is erratic, suggesting size-dependent collection efficiency in the sampling. This would imply that, for South Pole conditions, halo polarimetry (or even photometry) is a more reliable method for crystal size determination than actual sampling. It also implies that shapes of the sampled crystals need not necessarily be representative for the shapes of the halo-making crystals in the swarm. Our previous hypothesis [Appl. Opt. 33, 4569 (1994)], that a spread of interfacial angles is the dominating cause of halo broadening, has proved untenable.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1110) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Aerosols
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.2940) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Ice crystal phenomena
(010.3920) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Meteorology
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

Original Manuscript: November 19, 2001
Revised Manuscript: April 1, 2002
Published: January 20, 2003

Gunther P. Können, Herman R. A. Wessels, and Jaap Tinbergen, "Halo polarization profiles and sampled ice crystals: observations and interpretation," Appl. Opt. 42, 309-317 (2003)

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