Advantages and limitations to the use of optical measurements to study sediment properties

MDPI - Applied Sciences
By: , and 

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Abstract

Measurements of optical properties have been used for decades to study particle distributions in the ocean. They are useful for estimating suspended mass concentration as well as particle-related properties such as size, composition, packing (particle porosity or density), and settling velocity. Measurements of optical properties are, however, biased, as certain particles, because of their size, composition, shape, or packing, contribute to a specific property more than others. Here, we study this issue both theoretically and practically, and we examine different optical properties collected simultaneously in a bottom boundary layer to highlight the utility of such measurements. We show that the biases we are likely to encounter using different optical properties can aid our studies of suspended sediment. In particular, we investigate inferences of settling velocity from vertical profiles of optical measurements, finding that the effects of aggregation dynamics can seldom be ignored.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Advantages and limitations to the use of optical measurements to study sediment properties
Series title MDPI - Applied Sciences
DOI 10.3390/app8122692
Volume 8
Issue 12
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher MDPI
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description Article 2692; 19 p.
First page 1
Last page 19