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Anisotropic radio-wave scattering from englacial water regimes, Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland

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Colinear-polarized 5 MHz radar profiling data were obtained on Mýrdalsjökull, a temperate glacier in Iceland. Radar transects, and therefore polarization planes, were aligned approximately parallel, transverse and oblique to the ice flow direction. Echoes from the shallower half to two-thirds of the ice were 10–20 dB stronger on the oblique and longitudinal transects than those on the transverse transects. Anisotropy as a function of depth is clearly seen at the sites where the transects cross. Strong scattering on longitudinal transects apparently caused extinction of a radar-reflecting layer that was continuously profiled on the transverse transects. A radio-wave scattering model shows that scattering from a longitudinal water-filled conduit parallel to the glacier surface can explain the observed azimuthal variations of the echo. We conclude that low-frequency (∼MHz) radio waves can help to characterize englacial water regimes.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2007

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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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