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Proceedings Paper

Effects Of Structure On Scattering From Marine Organisms: Rayleigh-Debye And Mie Predictions
Author(s): M S Quinby-Hunt; A J Hunt
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Paper Abstract

Microscopic particulates (organisms and non-living components) in the ocean are responsible for the largest and most variable component of oceanic scattering. Marine scattering is dominated by small unicelluar populations that are the most effective organisms per unit mass for scattering and absorption. Most unicelluar organisms important for scattering can be identified as members of groups that are self-similar (that is, they have the same structure) and can be described in terms of simple geometric forms or combinations thereof. Thus the light scattering characteristics of prevalent marine populations may be predicted by applying particular scattering theories. This is a complementary approach to current methodologies for the prediction and interpretation of the radiative transport properties of the ocean. To better predict realistic scattering from marine organisms, structural models for small unicellular oceanic organisms are being implemented. For a few special geometries (spherical symmetries, infinite cylinders), rigorous calculations can be performed for unrestricted size and optical properties. Models based on the Rayleigh-Debye approximation allow many more shapes but are only valid for a restricted range of sizes and optical properties. We have examined the range of validity of the approximate theories by comparing their results to those of the rigorous theories for simple geometries. We compare predictions of the scattering and absorption coefficients as well as the angular dependence of scattering and discuss the limits of applicability of the Rayleigh-Debye theory for predicting optical characteristics of marine organisms. The results indicate that the approximate theory can be applied to small organisms that in many cases dominate the oceanic light scattering.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 August 1988
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0925, Ocean Optics IX, (12 August 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.945736
Show Author Affiliations
M S Quinby-Hunt, University of California (United States)
A J Hunt, University of California (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0925:
Ocean Optics IX
Marvin A. Blizard, Editor(s)

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