A comparison of basal reflectivity and ice velocity in East Antarctica 1Department of Physics, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, 55057, USA
18 Oct 2010
2School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK
Received: 26 July 2010 – Published in The Cryosphere Discuss.: 11 August 2010 Abstract. Ground-based radio echo sounding data acquired along the 1700 km US-ITASE
traverse have been used to determine ice attenuation and relative basal
reflectivity across the major catchments funneling ice from East Antarctica
to the Ross Ice Shelf. We find that basal reflectivity varies locally by up
to 40 dB which we interpret as due to changes in the phase state at the bed.
Some, though not all, areas of high local reflectivity are observed to have
flat-lying bed reflections indicative of sub-glacial lakes. We compare basal
reflectivity to ice balance velocity and find a general association of
higher flow speeds with high radar reflection strength. This set of
observations from two independent remotely sensed geophysical data sets
extends the range of field observations to the interior of East Antarctica
and confirms the importance of basal lubrication on modulating the ice
dynamics of the largest ice sheet on the planet.
Revised: 07 October 2010 – Accepted: 08 October 2010 – Published: 18 October 2010
Citation: Jacobel, R. W., Lapo, K. E., Stamp, J. R., Youngblood, B. W., Welch, B. C., and Bamber, J. L.: A comparison of basal reflectivity and ice velocity in East Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 4, 447-452, doi:10.5194/tc-4-447-2010, 2010.