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Formation of RADARSAT backscatter feature and undulating firn stratigraphy at an ice-stream margin

NG, Felix; King, Edward C.. 2013 Formation of RADARSAT backscatter feature and undulating firn stratigraphy at an ice-stream margin. Annals of Glaciology, 54 (64). 90-96. 10.3189/2013AoG64A202

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Abstract/Summary

On RADARSAT imagery, the southern margin of the onset zone of Bindschadler Ice Stream, West Antarctica, manifests a multi-banded feature, with brightness varying across the bands and oscillating along each band. Ground-based radar profiles across the margin reveal folds in the firn stratigraphy associated with this pattern and provide evidence for correlation between the depth of shallow isochrones and the RADARSAT backscatter intensity on each profile, allowing us to interpret the banded feature for firn-layer geometry in three dimensions. We use a kinematic model of isochrone depth evolution to show how layer folding and the band expression may result from deformation and advection in the near-surface flow field at ice-stream margins, even with steady flow. The model predicts the formation of longitudinally patterned bands when the ice-stream acceleration fluctuates along flow. Concerted study of the planform and stratigraphy of other RADARSAT-detected features on the ice sheets may help us understand their origin.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3189/2013AoG64A202
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Ice Sheets
ISSN: 02603055
Date made live: 21 Oct 2013 07:44 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/503569

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