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South Polar in situ radio-frequency ice attenuation

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We have determined the in situ electric field attenuation length Lα (defined as the length over which the signal amplitude diminishes by a factor 1/e) for radio-frequency signals broadcast vertically through South Polar ice and reflected off the underlying bed. Conservatively assuming a bedrock field reflectivity R = 1.0, we estimate Lα = 1450+300−150 m for f = 380 MHz, and T = −50°C; the errors incorporate uncertainties in R. This value is consistent with previous estimates that the radio-frequency attenuation length exceeds the attenuation length at optical frequencies by an order of magnitude.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-03-01

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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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