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Radar characterization of the basal interface across the grounding zone of an ice-rise promontory in East Antarctica

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Radar power returned from the basal interface along a 42 km long profile over an ice-rise promontory and the adjacent Roi Baudouin ice shelf, Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, is analyzed to infer spatial variations in basal reflectivity and hence the basal environment. Extracting basal reflectivity from basal returned power requires an englacial attenuation model. We estimate attenuation in two ways: (1) using a temperature-dependent model with input from thermomechanical ice-flow models; and (2) using a radar method that linearly approximates the geometrically corrected returned power with ice thickness. The two methods give different results. We argue that attenuation calculated using a modeled temperature profile is more robust than the widely used radar method, especially in locations where depth-averaged attenuation varies spatially or where the patterns of basal reflectivity correlate with the patterns of the ice thickness.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-11-01

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  • 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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