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Using electron backscatter diffraction patterns to examine recrystallization in polar ice sheets

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The fabric of polycrystalline ice is typically described using the c-axis orientation alone, but this is insufficient for a full description of grain orientations in this hexagonal material. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) provides full c- and a-axis orientation of individual grains, and is used here to study Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice specimens from depths of 1551, 1642 and 1745 m. Complete orientation data are used to compare nearest-neighbor relationships to overall fabric and to differentiate between recrystallization mechanisms. Changes in orientation between grains and subgrains in GISP2 specimens were correlated with the appearance of grain boundaries on thin sections and used to identify grain sets that were probably produced by polygonization. Comparison of grain misorientations that take into account both c- and a-axis differences with those derived from c-axis directions alone reveals the presence of polygonization and illustrates the usefulness of this technique.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756506781828458

Publication date: December 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • 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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