Abstract

An underwater optical serial-sectioning technique is developed to measure in situ three-dimensional distributions of biological particles. The technique involves scanning of a thin plane of laser light through a range of distances parallel to the imaging plane of a digital CCD camera. Images of induced fluorescence in the sequentially illuminated planes are recorded. An inverse method is then used to reconstruct three-dimensional chlorophyll a distributions from the plane images. Computer simulations of the image formation and reconstruction process indicate that the underwater optical serial-sectioning technique is practical for in situ determination and analysis of chlorophyll a microstructures for concentrations as low as 0.1 mg of chlorophyll a per cubic meter in 1-m3 water volumes.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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