Temperature and salinity correction coefficients for light absorption by water in the visible to infrared spectral region

Rüdiger Röttgers, David McKee, Christian Utschig

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The light absorption coefficient of water is dependent on temperature and concentration of ions, i.e. the salinity in seawater. Accurate knowledge of the water absorption coefficient, a, and/or its temperature and salinity correction coefficients, T and S, respectively, is essential for a wide range of optical applications. Values are available from published data only at specific narrow wavelength ranges or at single wavelengths in the visible and infrared regions. T and S were therefore spectrophotometrically measured throughout the visible, near, and short wavelength infrared spectral region (400 to ∼2700 nm). Additionally, they were derived from more precise measurements with a point-source integrating-cavity absorption meter (PSICAM) for 400 to 700 nm. When combined with earlier measurements from the literature in the range of 2600 - 14000 nm (wavenumber: 3800 - 700 cm-1), the coefficients are provided for 400 to 14000 nm (wavenumber: 25000 to 700 cm-1).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25093-25108
Number of pages16
JournalOptics Express
Issue number21
Early online date7 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2014


  • water light absorption
  • light absorption
  • seawater salinity

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