Irradiance Measurements in the Upper Ocean Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • Observations were made of downward solar radiation as a function of depth during an experiment in the North Pacific (35°N, 155°W). The irradiance meter employed was sensitive to solar radiation of wavelength 400–1000 nm arriving from above at a horizontal surface. Because of selective absorption of the short and long wavelengths, the irradiance decreases much faster than exponential in the upper few meters, falling to one-third of the incident value between 2 and 3 m depth. Below 10 m the decrease was exponential at a rate characteristic of moderately clear water of Type IA. Neglecting one case having low sun altitude, the observations are well represented by the expression I/I0=Reᶻ/ζ¹+(1−R)eᶻ/ζ², where I is the irradiance at depth −z, I₀ is the irradiance at the surface less reflected solar radiation, R=0.62, ζ₁ and ζ₂ are attenuation lengths equal to 1.5 and 20 m, respectively, and z is the vertical space coordinate, positive upward with the origin at mean sea level. The depth at which the irradiance falls to 10% of its surface value is nearly the same as observations of Secchi depth when cases with high wind speed or low solar altitude are neglected. Parameters R, ζ₁, and ζ₂ are computed for the entire range of oceanic water types.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Issued
  • Paulson, Clayton A., James J. Simpson, 1977: Irradiance Measurements in the Upper Ocean. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 7, 952–956.
Journal Title
Journal Volume
  • 7
Journal Issue/Number
  • 6
Rights Statement
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
  • This research was supported by the Office of Naval Research through Contract N000 14-76-C-0067 under Project NR 083-102.
Peer Reviewed
Additional Information
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-02-08T16:38:39Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1PaulsonClaytonA.CEOAS.IrradianceMeasurementsUpper.pdf: 315808 bytes, checksum: 8c91d11abc43d6c1abbcbebdd188e233 (MD5) Previous issue date: 1977-11
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell ( on 2012-02-08T16:38:39ZNo. of bitstreams: 1PaulsonClaytonA.CEOAS.IrradianceMeasurementsUpper.pdf: 315808 bytes, checksum: 8c91d11abc43d6c1abbcbebdd188e233 (MD5)



This work has no parents.