The Nature and Measurement of the Light Environment in the Ocean

  • John T. O. Kirk
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 43)


The nature — that is, the characteristics, and the properties — of the light environment in the ocean is determined by two things: first, by the nature of the light flux incident on the surface of the ocean from above, and second, by the optical properties of the oceanic water itself. The underwater light environment is what results from the operation of the latter on the former. In this paper we shall consider (a) the nature of the incident solar flux; (b) the inherent optical properties of the ocean, how they are measured and what components of the aquatic medium they are due to; and (c) how the characteristics of the underwater light field are measured, and what these measurements reveal about the light environment in the ocean.


Spectral Distribution Gulf Stream Solar Altitude Normal Irradiance Inherent Optical Property 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • John T. O. Kirk
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of Plant IndustryCanberraAustralia

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