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Microstructure mapping: a new method for imaging deformation-induced microstructural features of ice on the grain scale

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This work presents a method of mapping deformation-related sublimation patterns, formed on the surface of ice specimens, at microscopic resolution (3–4 m pixel−1). The method is based on the systematic sublimation of a microtomed piece of ice, prepared either as a thick or a thin section. The mapping system consists of an optical microscope, a CCD video camera and a computer-controlledxy-stage. About 1500 images are needed to build a high-resolution mosaic map of a 4.5 × 9 cm section. Mosaics and single images are used to derive a variety of statistical data about air inclusions (air bubbles and air clathrate hydrates), texture (grain size, shape and orientation) and deformation-related features (subgrain boundaries, slip bands, subgrain islands and loops, pinned and bulged grain boundaries). The most common sublimation patterns are described, and their relevance for the deformation of polar ice is briefly discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2006

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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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