Continuum absorption

From Glossary of Meteorology

continuum absorption

A region of continuous spectral absorption by a gas that shows no apparent line structure.

Continuum absorption is explained semi-empirically as the overlap of absorption due to many absorption lines with centers far from the continuum region. A good example occurs in the 10- μm window region, where continuum absorption by water vapor can be particularly important.
Compare band absorption, line absorption.