A comparative analysis is presented of simple approaches to radiative transfer in plane-parallel layers, such as the self-consistent Haltrin approach, the Chandrasekhar-Klier exact solution for isotropic scatters, an extended version of two-flux radiative Kubelka-Munk theory, the neutron-diffuse Gate-Brinkworth theory, and different versions of the δ-Eddington theory. It is shown that the Haltrin approach is preferable to others and can be used for the solution of an inverse optical problem of the estimation of absorption and backscattering coefficients of aquatic environments from measured apparent optical properties. Two different methods of transformation from measured irradiance reflectance at combined illumination to irradiance reflectance induced by diffuse illumination only are developed. An analysis of the use of the different models for estimation of the effect of the bottom albedo is also presented. © 2005 Optical Society of America.
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