Markov chain formalism for generalized radiative transfer in a plane-parallel...

Xu, F., A. B. Davis, and D. Diner (2016), Markov chain formalism for generalized radiative transfer in a plane-parallel medium, accounting for polarization, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 184, 14-26, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2016.06.004.

A Markov chain formalism is developed for computing the transport of polarized radiation according to Generalized Radiative Transfer (GRT) theory, which was developed recently to account for unresolved random fluctuations of scattering particle density and can also be applied to unresolved spectral variability of gaseous absorption as an improvement over the standard correlated-k method. Using Gamma distribution to describe the probability density function of the extinction or absorption coefficient, a shape parameter a that quantifies the variability is introduced, defined as the mean extinction or absorption coefficient squared divided by its variance. It controls the decay rate of a power-law transmission that replaces the usual exponential Beer-Lambert-Bouguer law. Exponential transmission, hence classic RT, is recovered when a→infinity. The new approach is verified to high accuracy against numerical benchmark results obtained with a custom Monte Carlo method. For finite a, angular reciprocity is violated to a degree that increases with the spatial variability, as observed for finite portions of real-world cloudy scenes. While the degree of linear polarization in liquid water cloudbows, supernumerary bows, and glories is affected by spatial heterogeneity, the positions in scattering angle of these features are relatively unchanged. As a result, a single-scattering model based on the assumption of subpixel homogeneity can still be used to derive droplet size distributions from polarimetric measurements of extended stratocumulus clouds.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)
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