The influence of hydrosol nonsphericity on the polarization characteristics of light under water is investigated by combining accurate single-scattering models for randomly oriented spheroidal scatterers with a radiative transfer model that employs Stokes formalism and considers refraction of direct unpolarized solar radiation and 100% linearly polarized radiation at the air–water interface followed by single scattering. Variations in what we call the “linear polarization phase function” (the degree of linear polarization as a function of scattering angle and the angle of linear polarization as a function of scattering angle) are examined for a wide range of spheroid aspect ratios and complex refractive indices of hydrosols. Implications for polarization-sensitive marine organisms and for remote sensing of the marine environment are discussed.
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