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Spatial and temporal variability of snow accumulation using ground-penetrating radar and ice cores on a Svalbard glacier

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A 50 MHz ground-penetrating radar was used to detect horizontal layers in the snowpack along a longitudinal profile on Nordenskjöldbreen, a Svalbard glacier. The profile passed two shallow and one deep ice-core sites. Two internal radar reflection layers were dated using parameters measured in the deep core. Radar travel times were converted to water equivalent, yielding snow-accumulation rates along the profile for three time periods:1986-99,1963-99 and 1963-86. The results show 40-60% spatial variability in snow accumulation over short distances along the profile. The average annual accumulation rate for 1986-99 was found to be about 12% higher than for the period 1963-86, which indicates increased accumulation in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2002

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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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