High Resolution Radar Profiling of the Snow and Ice Stratigraphy beneath the ITASE Traverses, West Antarctic Ice Sheet
This award supports continued acquisition of high resolution, radar reflection profiles of the snow and ice stratigraphy between core sites planned along traverse routes of the U.S. component of the International
Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (U.S.-ITASE). The purpose is to use the profiles to establish the structure and continuity of firn stratigraphic horizons over hundreds of kilometers and to quantitatively
assess topographic and ice movement effects upon snow deposition. Other objectives are to establish the climatic extent that a single site represents and to investigate the cause of firn reflections. The radar
will also be used to identify crevasses ahead of the traverse vehicles in order to protect the safety of the scientists and support personnel on the traverse. Collaboration with other ITASE investigators will use the radar horizons as continuous isochronic references fixed by the core dating to calculate historical snow accumulation rates. The primary radar system uses 400-MHz (center frequency) short-pulse antennas, which (with processing) gives the penetration of 50-70 meters. This is the depth which is required to exceed the 200-year deposition horizon along the traverse routes. Profiles at 200 MHz will also be recorded if depths greater than 70 meters are of interest. Processing will be accomplished by data compression (stacking) to reveal long distance stratigraphic deformation, range gain corrections to give proper weight to signal amplitudes, and GPS corrections to adjust the records for the present ice sheet topography. Near surface stratigraphy will allow topographic and ice movement effects to be separated. This work is critical to the success of the U.S.-ITASE program.
Data Management Plan
None in the Database