Radio-echo soundings of sub-polar glaciers with low-frequency radar
Hagen, Jon Ove
- Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
(issn: 1751-8369, eissn: 1751-8369)
Air-borne radio-echo soundings of sub-polar glaciers in Svalbard have previously been carried out by Soviet scientists using high frequency radar units of 620 and 440 MHz. Later a British/Norwegian group made soundings with 60 MHz equipment. The high frequency radar units seemed to underestimate the ice thicknesses. The 60 MHz radar unit seemed to give more accurate results when compared to areas with gravity surveyed bed. However, both the Soviet and the British equipment seldom recorded bed-echoes in accumulation areas where firn soaking during summer and thus zero temperatures are likely to occur. A low-frequency impulse radar unit of 8 MHz, however, recorded bed echoes in these areas too. In the accumulation area of Kongsvegen depths down to 440 m were recorded. The glacier bed is thus close to sea level at approximately 12 km from the calving front. Soundings were carried out on Brøggerbreen. Lovenbreen and Kongsvegen. Subglacial maps were generated from the data. Internal reflections that were probably caused by englacial drainage channels could be observed. Frequent internal reflections close to the bed could be interpreted as an indication of temperate ice. However, we could not find any distinct upper level of these reflections.