Digital optical televiewing of ice boreholes

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Digital optical televiewing, recently developed to log and map terrestrial boreholes, provides a complete orientated image of borehole walls at a resolution of 1 mm along hole and typically <1 mm around hole. Here we provide an overview of optical televiewer (OPTV) technology and operation, and outline the potential contributions of the technique to ice-mass research with reference to an OPTV log of a borehole ∼21 m deep drilled in the lower accumulation area of Glacier de Tsanfleuron, Switzerland. The OPTV image of this borehole successfully reveals a variety of visibly contrasting ice types. These ice types have been characterized and their orientation mapped and, on the basis of this information, interpreted as: (1) primary foliation; (2) summer/autumn erosion surfaces; and (3) incipient foliation. Importantly, unrolled OPTV images can be inverted to recreate a virtual image of the borehole core, potentially, for the first time, allowing ice cores to be orientated.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 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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