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Depolarization of radio waves can distinguish between floating and grounded ice sheets

Woodruff, A.H.W.; Doake, C.S.M.. 1979 Depolarization of radio waves can distinguish between floating and grounded ice sheets. Journal of Glaciology, 23 (89). 223-232. https://doi.org/10.3189/S0022143000029853

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Abstract/Summary

Polar ice is now thought to be marginally birefringent at radio echo-sounding frequencies. An experiment on the polarization behaviour of 60 MHz radio echoes from the bed of both ice shelf and land ice in Antarctica showed a marked difference in the returned polarization. It appears that differences in electrical properties or roughness of the reflecting boundary cannot explain our results. We suggest that there is a large change in the birefringence of the ice sheet at the hinge zone, caused by the effect of tidal strain on crystal orientation. This would imply a minimum value of the radio-frequency anisotropy in permittivity for the single crystal of (0.52±0.8)%. Therefore polarization changes could allow floating and grounded ice to be distinguished.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.3189/S0022143000029853
ISSN: 0022-1430
Date made live: 26 Sep 2019 10:13 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/525228

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