Oceanic non-Kolmogorov optical turbulence and spherical wave propagation

Jin Ren Yao, Han Tao Wang, Hua Jun Zhang, Jian Dong Cai, Ming Yuan Ren, Yu Zhang, Olga Korotkova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Light propagation in turbulent media is conventionally studied with the help of the spatio-temporal power spectra of the refractive index fluctuations. In particular, for natural water turbulence several models for the spatial power spectra have been developed based on the classic, Kolmogorov postulates. However, as currently widely accepted, non-Kolmogorov turbulent regime is also common in the stratified flow fields, as suggested by recent developments in atmospheric optics. Until now all the models developed for the non-Kolmogorov optical turbulence were pertinent to atmospheric research and, hence, involved only one advected scalar, e.g., temperature. We generalize the oceanic spatial power spectrum, based on two advected scalars, temperature and salinity concentration, to the non-Kolmogorov turbulence regime, with the help of the so-called "Upper-Bound Limitation" and by adopting the concept of spectral correlation of two advected scalars. The proposed power spectrum can handle general non-Kolmogorov, anisotropic turbulence but reduces to Kolmogorov, isotropic case if the power law exponents of temperature and salinity are set to 11/3 and anisotropy coefficient is set to unity. To show the application of the new spectrum, we derive the expression for the second-order mutual coherence function of a spherical wave and examine its coherence radius (in both scalar and vector forms) to characterize the turbulent disturbance. Our numerical calculations show that the statistics of the spherical wave vary substantially with temperature and salinity non-Kolmogorov power law exponents and temperature-salinity spectral correlation coefficient. The introduced spectrum is envisioned to become of significance for theoretical analysis and experimental measurements of non-classic natural water double-diffusion turbulent regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1340-1359
Number of pages20
JournalOptics Express
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 18 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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