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Causes and nature of ice-sheet radio-echo internal reflections estimated from the dielectric properties of ice

  • Shuji Fujita (a1) and Shinji Mae (a1)

Abstract

The causes and nature of ice-sheet radio-echo internal reflections at deep layers in polar ice sheets are discussed, based on the dielectric properties of ice that have been measured at microwave frequency and radio frequency. The reflection coefficients of electromagnetic waves in ice sheets due to two causes the change in permittivity induced by changes in crystal-orientation fabrics with depth, and changes in conductivity induced by changes in acidity with depth - were derived respectively as a function of the frequency used in radar sounding and the temperature of ice, and both were compared quantitatively. It is shown that at single-plane boundaries the reflection coefficients due to the former cause are independent of frequency and temperature and that they are large enough to produce dominant internal reflections. In contrast, reflection coefficients due to the latter cause strongly depend on frequency and temperature. Since they are inversely proportional to the frequency, the latter cause can be dominant only when frequencies below about 60 MHz are used. Examination of previous observational data has suggested that not only changes in acidity but also changes in crystal-orientation fabrics exist at depths corresponding to the dates of earlier volcanic eruptions.

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References

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