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Radar signatures beneath a surface topographic lineation near the outlet of Kamb Ice Stream and Engelhardt Ice Ridge, West Antarctica

  • Kenichi Matsuoka (a1), Anthony Gades (a1) (a2), Howard Conway (a1), Ginny Catania (a3) and Charles F. Raymond (a1)...

Abstract

Visible and infrared satellite images reveal numerous lineations on the Siple Coast region of West Antarctica. We used 5 MHz ice-penetrating radar to probe the interior and the bed of the ice sheet beneath a lineation at the boundary between Engelhardt Ice Ridge and flat-ice terrain to the south of the Kamb Ice Stream (KIS) outlet. Results show curved reflectors that emerge from the bed beneath 600 m thick ice. The tops of the reflectors extend about 100m into the ice above the bed, where they become almost horizontal. Apparent reflectivity of the horizontal section is about 20 dB less than that of the bed. We conclude that the likely cause of such strong reflection is sea water that was accreted into basal crevasses when the flat-ice terrain was floating. Internal layers are warped downward just downslope from the basal reflectors. It is thought that the downwarping was caused by localized basal melting in the past. The spatial pattern of downwarping suggests that localized basal melting was stronger on the north side than on the south side of KIS; apparently ice/ocean interactions on the two sides of KIS were different.

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References

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