Polarized reflectance and transmittance distribution functions of the ocean surface


Two aspects of ocean modelling are treated: representation of ocean waves considering all size-classes of waves and tracing of light-interactions at the wavy sea surface. Nonlinear wave profiles are realized accounting for a wide range of climatologically relevant sea states and wind speeds. Polarized ray tracing is used to investigate air-incident and whitecap-free reflectance and transmittance distributions with high angular resolution subject to sea-characterizing parameters, such as significant wave height, peak wave period, wind speed, and surface roughness. Wave-shadowing effects of incident and multiple reflected rays are fully considered. Their influence mostly starts with incidence angles greater than 60°, i.e., when the sun is near the horizon, and is especially pronounced for steep sea states. The net effect of multiple reflections is a redistribution of reflectance and transmittance fractions in their respective hemispheres and a slight increase of the net transmission of light into the sea. Revised reflectance and transmittance distribution functions, RDF and TDF, are provided depending on surface roughness in terms of the mean-square slope; reference is made to other sea state parameters. In comparison with the slope statistics approach, uncertainties related to sun near the horizon are reduced and on average this study yields somewhat higher reflectance values with some variability related to the sea state. By means of provided data, irradiance and radiance reflectances can be computed using desired sky radiance distributions, e.g., clear sky, overcast or partly cloudy sky, as well as wind or sea state information including wave propagation direction.
QR Code: Link to publication