PURPOSE Backscattering of very low energy electrons in thin layers of amorphous ice is known to provide experimental data for the elastic and inelastic cross sections and indicates values to be expected in liquid water. The extraction of cross sections was based on a transport analysis consistent with Monte Carlo simulation of electron trajectories. However, at electron energies below 20 eV, quantum coherence effects may be important and trajectory-based methods may be in significant error. This possibility is here investigated by calculating quantum multiple elastic scattering of electrons in a simple model of a very small, thin foil of amorphous ice. METHOD The average quantum multiple elastic scattering of electrons is calculated for a large number of simulated foils, using a point-scatterer model for the water molecule and taking inelastic absorption into account. The calculation is compared with a corresponding trajectory simulation. RESULTS The difference between average quantum scattering and trajectory simulation at energies below about 20 eV is large, in particular in the forward scattering direction, and is found to be almost entirely due to coherence effects associated with the short-range order in the amorphous ice. For electrons backscattered at the experimental detection angle (45° relative to the surface normal) the difference is however small except at electron energies below about 10 eV. CONCLUSION Although coherence effects are in general found to be strong, the mean free path values derived by trajectory-based analysis may actually be in fair agreement with the result of an analysis based on quantum scattering, at least for electron energies larger than about 10 eV.