Numerous empirical data from nine large Polish-Russian research expeditions and other smaller expeditions to various regions of the World Ocean during 1978 - 1991 were used to compile this first approximate model of statistical relationships, chiefly between the concentration of chlorophyll a and the solar irradiance just below the sea surface on the one hand, and the vertical distribution of chlorophyll a, phytoplankton absorption spectra, downward irradiance attenuation spectra, the quantum yield of photosynthesis, as well as other mean diurnal characteristics of primary production in waters of different trophicity on the other. These model relationships served to work out an algorithm for computing the vertical distributions of light energy and primary production characteristics in particular types of sea water from data on chlorophyll a concentration and irradiance at the sea surface. Verification of these model formulas with the aid of empirical data from a variety of sources has shown that they provide good results -- the mean statistical errors with respect to in situ measurements range from ca 10% to 80%, depending on the characteristic in question. In order to improve the accuracy of this algorithm, a much larger number of statistical data is needed, and closer attention must be paid to the effect of nutrients and other environmental factors on the characteristics being assessed. This algorithm could be especially useful in the remote sensing of primary production in the ocean.