Marine Biology

, Volume 114, Issue 2, pp 341–348 | Cite as

Laboratory simulation of light-focusing by water-surface waves

  • D. Stramski
  • L. Legendre


A laboratory system has been developed to simulate wave-induced irradiance fluctuations that occur in the top few metres of the sea under sunny surface conditions. A principle of operation is that the fluctuations are produced after refraction of light by water waves generated in the tank. Simulated irradiance consists of repetitive high-amplitude “flashes” resulting from a lens-effect of the waves. Statistical properties of flashes are similar to those recorded at sea. In our laboratory simulation, the flashes that exceed an amplitude level of 1.5 Ē (where Ē is the time-averaged irradiance) have a mean frequency of about 230 min-1, and a typical duration of 5 to 20 ms. The frequency of the flashes decreases exponentially with increasing amplitude level. The system simulates timeaveraged irradiance comparable to full sunlight at shallow depths (∼800 μmol quanta m-2 s-1 over the visible spectral region), and provides light with a reasonable spectral composition. The simulation method was designed for studying responses of phytoplankton, but applications involving optical aspects can also be foreseen.


Phytoplankton Refraction Surface Condition Spectral Region Simulation Method 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Stramski
    • 1
  • L. Legendre
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de BiologieUniversité LavalCanada

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