Collaborative Research: Deciphering the Deep Ice and the Ice-water Interface over Lake Vostok Using Existing Radar Data
This award supports a project to evaluate radio-echo intensities in the available SOAR ice-penetrating radar data along grids covering Lake Vostok, and along four regional tracks from Ridge B toward the lake. The project has two objectives; first, it will examine the upper surface of the lake and reflectors hypothesized to be a boundary between the meteoric and accreted ice. They will provide crucial knowledge on the dynamic evolution of the lake. Second, this project will examine a poorly understood echo-free zone within the deep ice in central East Antarctica. This zone may consist of distorted stagnant ice, while its upper boundary may be a shear zone. The SOAR radar data provide a unique resource to examine spatiotemporal water circulation patterns that should be understood in order to select the best direct-sampling strategy to the lake. The Vostok ice core provides a unique opportunity to do this work. First, the path effects, i.e. propagation loss and birefringence, will be derived at the ice-core site using ice temperature, chemistry, and fabric data. Second, lateral variations of the propagation loss will be estimated by tracking chemistry associated with radar-detected isochronous layers, and by inferring temperatures from an ice-flow model that can replicate those layers. Ice-fabric patterns will be inferred from anisotropy in the reflectivity at about 100 radar-track cross-over sites. In terms of broader impacts, a graduate student will be trained to interpret the radar data in the light of radar theory and glaciological context of Lake Vostok and summer workshops for K-12 teachers will be provided in Seattle and New York. This project will contribute to ongoing efforts to study Lake Vostok and will complement the site selection for a North Vostok ice core, which has been proposed by Russia and France as an IPY program.
Data Management Plan
None in the Database