The airborne lidar detection and cross-sectional mapping of submerged oceanic scattering layers are reported. The field experiment was conducted in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Assateague Island, VA. NASA?s Airborne Oceanographic Lidar was operated in the bathymetric mode to acquire on-wavelength 532-nm depth-resolved backscatter signals from shelf/slope waters. Unwanted laser pulse reflection from the airwater interface was minimized by spatial filtering and off-nadir operation. The presence of thermal stratification over the shelf was verified by the deployment of airborne expendable bathythermographs. Optical beam transmission measurements acquired from a surface truthing vessel indicated the presence of a layer of turbid water near the sea floor over the inner portion of the shelf.
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