Predicting spectral and PAR light attenuation in Greenlandic coastal waters

Ciarán Murray, Stiig Markager, Colin Stedmon

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


The spectral quality and penetration of light are key parameters controlling the productivity of Greenlandic fjords. Solar elevation and sea ice play an important role, but during the increasing ice free period and summer months in particular, light is also regulated by water constituents. We present models for spectral and PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) attenuation in two contrasting Greenlandic fjords, Godthåbsfjord (SW Greenland) and Young Sound (NE Greenland). The fjords differ in the character and concentrations of optically active components present: dissolved organic material (CDOM), phytoplankton pigments and inorganic particles. These differences are due in part to hydrography and to the sources of meltwater: respectively, fjord-terminating and land-terminating glaciers. We present a model to explain the variation in spectral and PAR irradiance in terms of the variation in optically active components. The ability of our model to predict irradiance is compared with that of 2 existing models.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2015 - Granada, Spain
Duration: 22 Feb 201527 Feb 2015


ConferenceASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2015
Internet address


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