Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for :

  • Author or Editor: Curtis D. Mobley x
  • Journal of Physical Oceanography x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Rudolph W. Preisendorfer
Curtis D. Mobley


The downward albedo (irradiance reflectance) r and the upward albedo r + of a random air–water surface, formed by capillary waves, are computed as a function of lighting conditions and wind speed by Monte Carlo means for incident unpolarized radiant flux. The possibility of multiple scattering of light rays and of ray-shielding of waves by other waves is included in the calculations. The effects on r ± of multiple scattering and wave shielding are found to be important for higher speeds (≳10 m s−1) and nearly horizontal light ray angles of incidence (≳70°). The Monte Carlo procedure is used to generate reflected and transmitted glitter patterns as functions of wind speed and sun position. These results are used to check the procedure's patterns against observed patterns. A simple analytic first-order model of glitter patterns and irradiance reflectance, which assumes a binormal distribution of water facet slopes, is tested against the relatively exact Monte Carlo results. Regions are defined in wind-speed and incident-angle space over which the first-order model is acceptable. Plots of the Monte Carlo r ± are drawn as functions of wind speed and angle of incidence of light rays. The albedos r ± are also found for various continuous radiance distribution simulating overcast skies and upwelling submarine light fields just below the air–water surface. Good agreement is found, were comparison can be made, between the computed albedos and albedos measured over the ocean surface.

Full access
J. Carter Ohlmann
David A. Siegel
, and
Curtis D. Mobley


Radiative transfer calculations are used to quantify the effects of physical and biological processes on variations in the transmission of solar radiation through the upper ocean. Results indicate that net irradiance at 10 cm and 5 m can vary by 23 and 34 W m−2, respectively, due to changes in the chlorophyll concentration, cloud amount, and solar zenith angle (when normalized to a climatological surface irradiance of 200 W m−2). Chlorophyll influences solar attenuation in the visible wavebands, and thus has little effect on transmission within the uppermost meter where the quantity of near-infrared energy is substantial. Beneath the top few meters, a chlorophyll increase from 0.03 to 0.3 mg m−3 can result in a solar flux decrease of more than 10 W m−2. Clouds alter the spectral composition of the incident irradiance by preferentially attenuating in the near-infrared region, and serve to increase solar transmission in the upper few meters as a greater portion of the irradiance exists in the deep-penetrating, visible wavebands. A 50% reduction in the incident irradiance by clouds causes a near 60% reduction in the radiant heating rate for the top 10 cm of the ocean. Solar zenith angle influences transmission during clear sky periods through changes in sea-surface albedo. This study provides necessary information for improved physically and biologically based solar transmission parameterizations that will enhance upper ocean modeling efforts and sea-surface temperature prediction.

Full access