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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 73, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 1983
  • pp: 1646–1652

Colors of snow, frozen waterfalls, and icebergs

Craig F. Bohren  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA, Vol. 73, Issue 12, pp. 1646-1652 (1983)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSA.73.001646


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Abstract

Snow presents more than just a uniformly white face. Beneath its surface a vivid blueness, the purity of which exceeds that of the bluest sky, may be seen. This subnivean blue light results from preferential absorption of red light by ice; multiple scattering by ice grains, which is not spectrally selective, merely serves to increase the path length that photons travel before reaching a given depth. Although snow is usually white on reflection, bubbly ice, which can be found in frozen waterfalls and icebergs, may not be. To a first approximation, bubbly ice is equivalent to snow with an effective grain size that increases with decreasing bubble volume fraction. Ice grains in snow are too small to give it a spectrally selective albedo, but the much larger effective grain sizes of bubbly ice can give it bluish-green hues of low purity on reflection.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

Citation
Craig F. Bohren, "Colors of snow, frozen waterfalls, and icebergs," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 73, 1646-1652 (1983)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josa/abstract.cfm?URI=josa-73-12-1646


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References

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