Multisystem synthesis of radar sounding observations of the Amundsen Sea sector from the 2004‐2005 field season

The Amundsen Sea Embayment of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet contains Thwaites and Pine Island Glaciers, two of the most rapidly changing glaciers in Antarctica. To date, Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers have only been observed by independent airborne radar sounding surveys, but a combined cross-basin analysis that investigates the basal conditions across the Pine Island-Thwaites Glaciers boundary has not been performed. Here, we combine two radar surveys and correct for their differences in system parameters to produce unified englacial attenuation and basal relative reflectivity maps spanning both Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers. Relative reflectivities range from -24.8 to +37.4 dB with the highest values beneath fast-flowing ice at the ice sheet margin. By comparing our reflectivity results with previously derived radar specularity and trailing bed echoes at Thwaites Glacier, we find a highly diverse subglacial landscape and hydrologic condition that evolve along flow. Together, these findings highlight the potential for joint airborne radar analysis with ground-based seismic and geomorphological observations to understand variations in the bed properties and cross-catchment interactions of ice streams and outlet glaciers.


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Authors: Chu, Winnie, Hilger, Andrew M., Culberg, Riley, Schroeder, Dustin M., Jordan, Thomas M., Seroussi, Helene, Young, Duncan A., Blankenship, Donald D., Vaughan, David G. ORCIDORCID record for David G. Vaughan

On this site: David Vaughan
22 October, 2021
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface / 126
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