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Sub-ice topography in Patriot Hills, West Antarctica: first results of a newly developed high-resolution FM-CW radar system

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We present a newly developed high-resolution frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FM-CW) radar system for sounding the sub-ice topography. The system, working in the frequency range from 200 to 400 MHz, was developed to measure thickness and internal layers in cold ice with a resolution better than 1 m. This system has the potential to measure accumulation rates, an important input for improved knowledge of the mass balance of polar ice sheets. First measurements for the test, calibration and optimization of the new ice sounder were made in December 2005 near the Ellsworth Mountains, specifically in Patriot Hills, West Antarctica, at 80°18′ S, 81°22′ W. The complete radar system was installed on a ski-mounted support frame, and towed by hand across the ice surface. The measurement results show the capability of this system to measure ice thickness up to 1000 m and to define internal layers within the ice body.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2010

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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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