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Acoustic televiewer logging in glacier boreholes

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The acoustic televiewer is a geophysical logging instrument that is deployed in a water-filled borehole and operated while trolling. It generates a digital, magnetically oriented image of the borehole wall that is developed from the amplitudes and transit times of acoustic waves emitted from the tool and reflected at the water–wall interface. The transit-time data are also converted to radial distances, from which cross-sectional views of the borehole shape can be constructed. Because the televiewer is equipped with both a three-component magnetometer and a two-component inclinometer, the borehole's trajectory in space is continuously recorded as well. This instrument is routinely used in mining and hydrogeologic applications, but in this investigation it was deployed in two boreholes drilled into Upper Fremont Glacier, Wyoming, U.S.A.The acoustic images recorded in this glacial setting are not as clear as those typically obtained in rocks, due to a lower reflection coefficient for water and ice than for water and rock. Results indicate that the depth and orientation of features intersecting the boreholes can be determined, but that interpreting their physical nature is problematic and requires corroborating information from inspection of cores. Nevertheless, these data can provide some insight into englacial structural characteristics. Additional information derived from the cross-sectional geometry of the borehole, as well as from its trajectory, may also be useful in studies concerned with stress patterns and deformation processes.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-12-01

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.

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