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Optically significant particle sizes in seawater

Davies, E.J. and McKee, D. and Bowers, D. and Graham, G.W. and Nimmo-Smith, W.A.M. (2014) Optically significant particle sizes in seawater. Applied Optics, 53 ((6)). pp. 1067-1074. DOI: 10.1364/AO.53.001067

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Abstract

Small particles (<10��μm) are often considered to play the dominant role in controlling scattering and absorption due to their relatively large numbers, which are typically found in the ocean. Here we present an approach for quantifying the size range of particles that contribute significantly to bulk inherent optical properties. We present a numerical assessment of the variability in optically significant particle sizes for simplistic populations that conform to the assumptions of homogeneous, spherical particles, and power-law size distributions. We use numerical predictions from Mie theory to suggest minimum and maximum particle sizes required for accurate predictions and observations of ocean optics for different particle size distributions (PSDs). When considering observed ranges of PSDs, our predictions suggest the need for measurements of optical properties and particles to capture information from particle sizes between diameters of 0.05�2000 μm in order to properly constrain relationships between particles and their associated optical properties. Natural particle populations in the ocean may present more complex PSDs that could be analyzed using the method presented here to establish optically significant size classes.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Ocean Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 03:00
ISSN: 1559-128X
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/455
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1364/AO.53.001067
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