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Design, optimization and calibration of an automated density gauge for firn and ice cores

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A gamma-ray density gauge can provide high-resolution and high-precision density measurements of firn and ice cores. This study describes the design, gamma-ray energy optimization and mass attenuation coefficient calibration of the Maine Automated Density Gauge Experiment (MADGE), a portable, field-operable gamma-ray density gauge used on overland traverses in East Antarctica. The MADGE instrument uses a241 Am gamma-ray source, a pulse-mode counting system and electronic core diameter calipers to collect high-precision (±0.004 g cm–3) density data from 3–8 cm diameter firn and ice cores. The data are collected at a 3.3 mm spatial resolution and an average throughput of 1.5 m h–1 for 5 cm diameter cores.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-12-01

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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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