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Observation of internal structures of snow covers with a ground-penetrating radar

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Abstract:

To complement a technique to detect internal structures of seasonal snow covers and glacier firn with ground-penetrating radar (GPR), we carried out cali- bration experiments and an observation of winter snow cover (5.7 m thick dry snow with numerous ice layers) with an 800 MHz GPR. In particular, we aimed to discriminate periodic noise, which is inherent in GPR, from radar echoes and to obtain a relationship between the observed reflection strength and the magnitude of density contrasts. Experiments were done in air to evaluate noise levels and receiver characteristics of this system. Based on these, we removed noise from radar echoes in the snow-cover observation. We recognized numerous marked echoes in a noise-free radargram. The depths of these echoes coincided roughly with those of large density contrasts observed in the snow pit. Thus, we argue that the echoes correspond to thin ice layers. Furthermore, the minimum density contrasts detected by this GPR are found to vary from about 100 to 250 kg m−3 at 1-6 m depth in the seasonal snow cover.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756404781814834

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology.

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