Abstract

A common optical phenomenon observed in shallow water is the presence of bright lines or bands of light moving across the sea bottom at surface-wave velocity. It is shown that these regions of increased intensity are mainly produced by the refraction of sunlight at the wavy surface. The depth at which intensity peaks reach a maximum is shown to be a function of the wave shape, trochoidal or sinusoidal, and the wave dimensions. This depth increases as the wave becomes longer and flatter. Intensity peaks of up to six times the average intensity level are predicted to be theoretically possible.

© 1957 Optical Society of America

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