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Proceedings Paper

Optical Properties Of Ice And Snow In The Polar Oceans. II: Theoretical Calculations
Author(s): Thomas C. Grenfell; Donald K. Perovich
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Paper Abstract

Radiative transfer models of sea ice applied to date range from a simple Bouguer-Lambert representation for net downwelling irradiance through 16 stream models which takes into account detailed variations in ice microstructure. Both sea ice and snow are strongly multiple scattering media with single scattering albedos well above 0.9 through the visible and into the near infrared. Parameter studies indicate that the optical properties of sea ice are controlled by the density of brine and vapor inclusions which in general undergo substantial seasonal changes. Melting and brine drainage are the principal causes of these variations. For ice below -5°C, temperature effects are relatively weak unless the Tice drops below the eutectic point. The optical properties of snow depend primarily on grain size, the bulk density, and the presence of impurities such as carbon soot. The theoretical models appear to be able to reproduce observations quite well and have revealed that soot or dust contamination of snow appears to be prevalent even in the Arctic.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 August 1986
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 0637, Ocean Optics VIII, (7 August 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.964239
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas C. Grenfell, University of Washington (United States)
Donald K. Perovich, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0637:
Ocean Optics VIII
Marvin A. Blizard, Editor(s)

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