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Ice-sheet bed 3-D tomography

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Information on bed topography and basal conditions is essential to developing the next-generation ice-sheet models needed to generate a more accurate estimate of ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the ice–bed can be analyzed to obtain information on bed topography and basal conditions. We developed a wideband SAR, which was used during July 2005 to perform measurements over a series of tracks between the GISP2 and GRIP cores near Summit Camp, Greenland. The wideband SAR included an eight-element receive-antenna array with multiple-phase centers. We applied the MUltiple SIgnal Classification (MUSIC) algorithm, which estimates direction of arrival signals, to single-pass multichannel data collected as part of this experiment to obtain fine-resolution bed topography. This information is used for producing fine-resolution estimates of bed topography over a large swath of 1600m, with a 25m posting and a relative accuracy of approximately 10m. The algorithm-derived estimate of ice thickness is within 10m of the GRIP ice-core length. Data collected on two parallel tracks separated by 500m and a perpendicular track are compared and found to have difference standard deviations of 9.1 and 10.3m for the parallel and perpendicular tracks, respectively.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2010

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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