Polarized light field under dynamic ocean surfaces: Numerical modeling compared with measurements

Yu You, George W. Kattawar, Kenneth J. Voss, Purushottam Bhandari, Jianwei Wei, Marlon Lewis, Christopher J. Zappa, Howard Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


As part of the Radiance in a Dynamic Ocean (RaDyO) program, we have developed a numerical model for efficiently simulating the polarized light field under highly dynamic ocean surfaces. Combining the advantages of the three-dimensional Monte Carlo and matrix operator methods, this hybrid model has proven to be computationally effective for simulations involving a dynamic air-sea interface. Given water optical properties and ocean surface wave slopes obtained from RaDyO field measurements, model-simulated radiance and polarization fields under a dynamic surface are found to be qualitatively comparable to their counterparts from field measurements and should be quantitatively comparable if the light field measurement and the wave slope/water optical property measurements are appropriately collocated and synchronized. This model serves as a bridge to connect field measurements of water optical properties, wave slopes and polarized light fields. It can also be used as a powerful yet convenient tool to predict the temporal underwater polarized radiance in a real-world situation. When appropriate surface measurements are available, model simulation is shown to reveal more dynamic features in the underwater light field than direct measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberC00H05
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Oceanography


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