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Estimating Underwater Light Regime under Spatially Heterogeneous Sea Ice in the Arctic

1
Takuvik Joint International Laboratory (UMI 3376) Université Laval (Canada) Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
2
Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, LOV, F-06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(12), 2693; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8122693
Received: 8 September 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outstanding Topics in Ocean Optics)
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Abstract

The vertical diffuse attenuation coefficient for downward plane irradiance ( K d ) is an apparent optical property commonly used in primary production models to propagate incident solar radiation in the water column. In open water, estimating K d is relatively straightforward when a vertical profile of measurements of downward irradiance, E d , is available. In the Arctic, the ice pack is characterized by a complex mosaic composed of sea ice with snow, ridges, melt ponds, and leads. Due to the resulting spatially heterogeneous light field in the top meters of the water column, it is difficult to measure at single-point locations meaningful K d values that allow predicting average irradiance at any depth. The main objective of this work is to propose a new method to estimate average irradiance over large spatially heterogeneous area as it would be seen by drifting phytoplankton. Using both in situ data and 3D Monte Carlo numerical simulations of radiative transfer, we show that (1) the large-area average vertical profile of downward irradiance, E d ¯ ( z ) , under heterogeneous sea ice cover can be represented by a single-term exponential function and (2) the vertical attenuation coefficient for upward radiance ( K L u ), which is up to two times less influenced by a heterogeneous incident light field than K d in the vicinity of a melt pond, can be used as a proxy to estimate E d ¯ ( z ) in the water column. View Full-Text
Keywords: apparent optical properties; 3D Monte Carlo numerical simulations; downward irradiance; upward radiance; sea ice heterogeneity; vertical attenuation coefficient; melt ponds apparent optical properties; 3D Monte Carlo numerical simulations; downward irradiance; upward radiance; sea ice heterogeneity; vertical attenuation coefficient; melt ponds
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Massicotte, P.; Bécu, G.; Lambert-Girard, S.; Leymarie, E.; Babin, M. Estimating Underwater Light Regime under Spatially Heterogeneous Sea Ice in the Arctic. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 2693.

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