• radiative transfer;
  • anisotropy;
  • arctic;
  • light-field;
  • irradiance;
  • radiance


Radiative transfer in sea ice is subject to anisotropic, multiple scattering. The impact of anisotropy on the light field under sea ice was found to be substantial and has been quantified. In this study, a large data set of irradiance and radiance measurements under sea ice has been acquired with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in the central Arctic. Measurements are interpreted in the context of numerical radiative transfer calculations, laboratory experiments, and microstructure analysis. The ratio of synchronous measurements of transmitted irradiance to radiance shows a clear deviation from an isotropic under-ice light field. We find that the angular radiance distribution under sea ice is more downward directed than expected for an isotropic light field. This effect can be attributed to the anisotropic scattering coefficient within sea ice. Assuming an isotropic radiance distribution under sea ice leads to significant errors in light-field modeling and the interpretation of radiation measurements. Quantification of the light field geometry is crucial for correct conversion of radiance data acquired by Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and ROVs.