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Instruments and Methods

Techniques for measuring high-resolution firn density profiles: case study from Kongsvegen, Svalbard

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On an 11 m firn/ice core from Kongsvegen, Svalbard, we have used dielectric profiling (DEP) to measure electrical properties, and digital photography to measure a core optical stratigraphy (COS) profile. We also used a neutron-scattering probe (NP) to measure a density profile in the borehole from which the core was extracted. The NP- and DEP-derived density profiles were similar, showing largescale (>30 cm) variation in the gravimetric densities of each core section. Fine-scale features (<10 cm) are well characterized by the COS record and are seen at a slightly lower resolution in both the DEP and NP records, which show increasing smoothing. A combination of the density accuracy of NP and the spatial resolution of COS provides a useful method of evaluating the shallow-density profile of a glacier, improving paleoclimate interpretation, mass-balance measurement and interpretation of radar returns.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2008

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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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