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Applied Optics

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Abstract/ Summary

Measurements of the particulate beam attenuation coefficient at multiple wavelengths in the ocean typically exhibit a power law dependence on wavelength, and the slope of that power law has been related to the slope of the particle size distribution (PSD), when assumed to be a power law function of particle size. Recently, spectral backscattering coefficient measurements have been made using sensors deployed at moored observatories, on autonomous underwater vehicles, and even retrieved from space-based measurements of remote sensing reflectance. It has been suggested that these backscattering measurements may also be used to obtain information about the shape of the PSD. In this work, we directly compared field-measured PSD with multispectral beam attenuation and backscattering coefficients in a coastal bottom boundary later. The results of this comparison demonstrated that (1) the beam attenuation spectral slope correlates with the average particle size as suggested by theory for idealized particles and PSD; and (2) measurements of spectral backscattering also contain information reflective of the average particle size in spite of large deviations of the PSD from a spectral power law shape.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Slade, W. H. and E. Boss, 2015. Spectral attenuation and backscattering as indicators of average particle size. Applied Optics, 54, 24, 7264-7277,

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© 2015 Optical Society of America




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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.