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Anisotropic radio-wave scattering from englacial water regimes, Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland

  • Kenichi Matsuoka (a1), Throstur Thorsteinsson (a1) (a2), Helgi Björnsson (a2) and Edwin D. Waddington (a1)

Abstract

Colinear-polarized 5 MHz radar profiling data were obtained on Mýrdalsjökull, a temperate glacier in Iceland. Radar transects, and therefore polarization planes, were aligned approximately parallel, transverse and oblique to the ice flow direction. Echoes from the shallower half to two-thirds of the ice were 10–20dB stronger on the oblique and longitudinal transects than those on the transverse transects. Anisotropy as a function of depth is clearly seen at the sites where the transects cross. Strong scattering on longitudinal transects apparently caused extinction of a radar-reflecting layer that was continuously profiled on the transverse transects. A radio-wave scattering model shows that scattering from a longitudinal water-filled conduit parallel to the glacier surface can explain the observed azimuthal variations of the echo. We conclude that low-frequency (~MHz) radio waves can help to characterize englacial water regimes.

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