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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editors: Andrew Dunn and Anthony Durkin
  • Vol. 9, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 2014

Optically significant particle sizes in seawater

Emlyn J. Davies, David McKee, David Bowers, George W. Graham, and W. Alex M. Nimmo-Smith  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 53, Issue 6, pp. 1067-1074 (2014)

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Small particles (<10μm) are often considered to play the dominant role in controlling scattering and absorption due to their relatively large numbers, which are typically found in the ocean. Here we present an approach for quantifying the size range of particles that contribute significantly to bulk inherent optical properties. We present a numerical assessment of the variability in optically significant particle sizes for simplistic populations that conform to the assumptions of homogeneous, spherical particles, and power-law size distributions. We use numerical predictions from Mie theory to suggest minimum and maximum particle sizes required for accurate predictions and observations of ocean optics for different particle size distributions (PSDs). When considering observed ranges of PSDs, our predictions suggest the need for measurements of optical properties and particles to capture information from particle sizes between diameters of 0.05–2000 μm in order to properly constrain relationships between particles and their associated optical properties. Natural particle populations in the ocean may present more complex PSDs that could be analyzed using the method presented here to establish optically significant size classes.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(290.4020) Scattering : Mie theory
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles
(290.7050) Scattering : Turbid media
(010.4458) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic scattering

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: October 15, 2013
Revised Manuscript: December 19, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: January 15, 2014
Published: February 12, 2014

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Emlyn J. Davies, David McKee, David Bowers, George W. Graham, and W. Alex M. Nimmo-Smith, "Optically significant particle sizes in seawater," Appl. Opt. 53, 1067-1074 (2014)

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