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Spatial variation of radar-derived basal conditions on Kamb Ice Stream, West Antarctica
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, LUVAL. (Glaciology)
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2009 (English)In: Annals of Glaciology, ISSN 0260-3055, E-ISSN 1727-5644, Vol. 50, no 51, 10-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Radar profiles of bed echo intensity can survey conditions at the ice-bed interface and test for the presence or absence of water. However, extracting information about basal conditions from bed echo intensities requires an estimate of the attenuation loss through the ice. We used the relationship between bed echo intensities from constant-offset radar data and ice thickness to estimate depth-averaged attenuation rates at several locations on and near Kamb Ice Stream (KIS), West Antarctica. We found values varying from 29 dB km−1 at Siple Dome to 15 dB km−1 in the main trunk region of KIS, in agreement with a previous measurement and models. Using these attenuation-rate values, we calculated the relative bed reflectivity throughout our KIS surveys and found that most of the bed in the trunk has high basal reflectivities, similar to those obtained in the location of boreholes that found water at the bed. Areas of lower bed reflectivity are limited to the sticky spot, where a borehole found a dry bed, and along the margins of KIS. These results support previous hypotheses that the basal conditions at locations like the sticky spot on KIS control its stagnation and possible reactivation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 50, no 51, 10-16 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108102DOI: 10.3189/172756409789097504ISI: 000280106200003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-108102DiVA: diva2:234337
Available from: 2009-09-07 Created: 2009-09-07 Last updated: 2013-04-16Bibliographically approved

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