Abstract

The role of the Lambert-Beer law in ocean optics is critically examined. The Lambert-Beer law and the three-parameter model of the submarine light field are used to construct an optical energy budget for any hydrosol. It is further applied to the analytical exponential decay coefficient of the light field and used to estimate the optical properties and effects of the dissolved/suspended component in upper ocean layers. The concepts of the empirical exponential decay coefficient (diffuse attenuation coefficient) of the light field and a constant exponential decay coefficient for molecular water are analyzed quantitatively. A constant exponential decay coefficient for water is rejected. The analytical exponential decay coefficient is used to analyze optical gradients in ocean waters.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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