Spatial Distribution of the Index of Refraction of Suspended Matter in the Ocean

  • J. Ronald V. Zaneveld
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 4)


The use of the index of refraction of suspended particles as a tracer of water masses and for the analysis of the composition of particulate matter is discussed. A method for determining the index of refraction of suspended particles is presented. In order to determine an index of refraction for a s ample, the ratio of light scattered at 45° for two wavelengths and the particle-size distribution must be known. By using a ratio, the difficult problem of determining absolute scattering values is avoided. In order to evaluate the index of refraction as an oceanic parameter, two widely different oceanic areas — the Oregon coastal area and the Equatorial Facific near the Galapagos Islands — are examined. The spatial distribution of the index of refraction in these areas is studied in relation to ocean dynamics and to the nature of the suspended material. The limitations and advantages of using the index of refraction of suspended particles as an oceanic parameter are presented.


Suspended Particulate Matter Refraction Index Particle Sample Galapagos Island Inherent Optical Property 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Ronald V. Zaneveld
    • 1
  1. 1.Oregon State UniversityUSA

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