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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 31 — Nov. 1, 2009
  • pp: 6059–6073

Light scattering by coccoliths detached from Emiliania huxleyi

Howard R. Gordon, Timothy J. Smyth, William M. Balch, G. Chris Boynton, and Glen A. Tarran  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 31, pp. 6059-6073 (2009)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.48.006059


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Abstract

We used in situ radiance/irradiance profiles to retrieve profiles of the spectral backscattering coefficient for all particles in an E. huxleyi coccolithophore bloom off the coast of Plymouth, UK. At high detached coccolith concentrations the spectra of backscattering all showed a minimum near 550 to 600 nm . Using flow cytometry estimates of the detached coccolith concentration, and assuming all of the backscattering (over and above the backscattering by the water itself) was due to detached coccoliths, we determined the upper limit of the backscattering cross section ( σ b ) of individual coccoliths to be 0.123 ± 0.039 μm 2 / coccolith at 500 nm . Physical models of detached coccoliths were then developed and the discrete dipole approximation was used to compute their average backscattering cross section in random orientation. The result was 0.092 μm 2 at 500 nm , with the computed σ b displaying a spectral shape similar to the measurements, but with less apparent increase in backscattering toward the red. When σ b is computed on a per mole of calcite, rather than a per coccolith basis, it agreed reasonably well with that determined for acid-labile backscattering at 632 nm averaged over several species of cultured calcifying algae. Intact coccolithophore cells were taken into account by arguing that coccoliths attached to coccolithophore cells (forming a “coccosphere”) backscatter in a manner similar to free coccoliths in random orientation. Estimating the number of coccoliths per coccosphere and using the observed number of coccolithophore cells resulted is an apparent backscattering cross section at 500 nm of 0.114 ± 0.013 μm 2 / coccolith , in satisfactory agreement with the measured backscattering.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.1430) General : Biology and medicine
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles
(280.4991) Remote sensing and sensors : Passive remote sensing

ToC Category:
Scattering

History
Original Manuscript: June 30, 2009
Revised Manuscript: October 7, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: October 9, 2009
Published: October 28, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 13 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Howard R. Gordon, Timothy J. Smyth, William M. Balch, G. Chris Boynton, and Glen A. Tarran, "Light scattering by coccoliths detached from Emiliania huxleyi," Appl. Opt. 48, 6059-6073 (2009)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-48-31-6059

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