Photobiology pp 131-138 | Cite as

Underwater Light

  • Raymond C. Smith
  • Curtis D. Mobley


The penetration of solar radiation into natural waters is dependent on a wide range of variables, both in the atmosphere and in water, and we do not have space to demonstrate all situations. We have selected only one fixed set of environmental input parameters, and the choice of inherent optical properties has been limited to only pure water and a range of chlorophyll concentrations. However, these few simulations display a wide range of variability found in solar radiation penetrating to depth underwater. In general, as the absorption increases, the wavelength of maximum penetration shifts from the blue to the green part of the spectrum and attenuation increases.


Radiative Transfer Chlorophyll Concentration Photosynthetically Available Radiation Radiance Distribution Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cox, C. and Munk, W. (1954) Statistics of the sea surface derived from sun glitter. J. Marine Res. 13, 198–227.Google Scholar
  2. Gordon, H.R. (2002) Inverse methods in hydrologic optics. Oceanologia 44, 9–58.Google Scholar
  3. Gordon, H.R., Brown, O.B., and Jacobs, M.M. (1975) Computed relationships between inherent and apparent optical properties of a flat homogenous ocean. Appl. Optics 14, 417–427.Google Scholar
  4. Kirk, J.T.O. (1994) Light and photosynthesis in aquatic ecosystems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  5. Mobley, C.D. (1994) Light and water, radiative transfer in natural waters. Academic Press, New York (now out of print, but available on CD or at Scholar
  6. Mobley, C.D., Gentili, G., Gordon, H.R., Jin, Z., Kattawar, G.W., Morel, A., Reinersman, P., Stamnes, K. and Stavn, R.H. (1993) Comparison of numerical models for computing underwater light fields. Appl. Optics 32, 7484–7504.Google Scholar
  7. Morel, A., Antoine A. and Gentili B. (2002) Bidirectional reflectance of oceanic waters: accounting for Raman emission and varying particle scattering phase function. Appl. Optics 41, 6289–6306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Morel, A. and Smith R.C. (1982) Terminology and units in optical oceanography. Marine Geodesy 5, 335–349.Google Scholar
  9. Pope, R.M. and Fry E.S. (1997) Absorption spectrum (380-700 nm) of pure water. II. Integrating cavity measurements. Appl. Optics 36, 8710–8723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond C. Smith
  • Curtis D. Mobley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations