Detection of Crystal Orientation Fabrics near the Ross/Amundsen Sea Ice-flow Divide and at the Siple Dome Ice Core Site using Polarimetric Radar Methods
This award supports a project to investigate fabrics with ground-based radar measurements near the Ross/Amundsen Sea ice-flow divide where a deep ice core will be drilled. The alignment of crystals in ice (crystal-orientation fabric) has an important effect on ice deformation. As ice deforms, anisotropic fabrics are produced, which, in turn, influence further deformation. Measurement of ice fabric variations can help reveal the deformation history of the ice and indicate how the ice will deform in the future. Ice cores provide opportunities to determine a vertical fabric profile, but horizontal variations of fabrics remain unknown. Remote sensing with ice-penetrating radar is the only way to do that over large areas. Preliminary results show that well-established polarimetric methods can detect the degree of horizontal anisotropy of fabrics and their orientation, even when they are nearly vertical-symmetric fabrics. In conjunction with ice deformation history, our first mapping of ice fabrics will contribute to modeling ice flow near the future ice core site. The project will train a graduate student and provide research experiences for two under graduate students both in field and laboratory. The project will contribute to ongoing West Antarctic ice sheet program efforts to better understand the impact of the ice sheet on global sea level rise. This project also supports an international collaboration between US and Japanese scientists.
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