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Snow-accumulation studies in Antarctica with ground-penetrating radar using 50,100 and 800 MHz antenna frequencies

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Snow radar profiles were measured in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, in the vicinity of the Finnish research station Aboa during austral summer 1999/2000. The aim was to study the annual layering in the upper 50 m of the snowpack and to compare the results obtained by three radar antenna frequencies (50,100 and 800 MHz). Intercomparison of the radar profiles measured by the three frequencies shows that some individual internal layers are visible with different antennas. Sparse accumulation-rate data from stake measurements and snow pits are compared with layer depths. The comparison reveals a great deal of scatter due to the large interannual variability in accumulation patterns. Using the radar layers as isochrones together with a model of depth-density-radarwave velocity allows the individual accumulation data to be integrated, and a better estimate of accumulation patterns is obtained. Using the radar layering seems to be a much better method of estimating accumulation rate in this region than using a short series of stake measurements, even in the absence of deep ice cores to directly date the radar layering.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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