As part of an effort to permit a computation of the diffuse attenuation coefficient, k, as a function of depth, given a satellite derived surface k value at 490 nm, a method which involves the spectral eigenanalysis of specific datasets was formulated. The method consists of breaking the kd and ku spectral datasets for a specific ocean region/season into single wavelength data matrices for each station. Then, an eigenanalysis is performed on each of these individual data matrices. Using the resulting eigenvectors and scalar multiples for each data matrix, the original k profiles may be reconstructed. Moreover, by parameterizing the scalar multiples of the eigenvectors for each station in terms of the satellite surface k values, an associated k profile may be computed for a given surface k value.