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Self-affine subglacial roughness: consequences for radar scattering and basal thaw discrimination in northern Greenland

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Title: Self-affine subglacial roughness: consequences for radar scattering and basal thaw discrimination in northern Greenland
Authors: Jordan, T
Cooper, M
Schroeder, D
Williams, C
Paden, J
Siegert, M
Bamber, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Subglacial roughness can be determined at a variety of length scales from radio-echo sounding (RES) data either via statistical analysis of topography or inferred from basal radar scattering. Past studies have demonstrated that subglacial terrain exhibits self-affine (power law) roughness scaling behaviour, but existing radar scattering models do not take this into account. Here, using RES data from northern Greenland, we introduce a self-affine statistical framework that enables a consistent integration of topographic-scale roughness with the electromagnetic theory of radar scattering. We demonstrate that the degree of radar scattering, quantified using the waveform abruptness (pulse peakiness), is topographically controlled by the Hurst (roughness power law) exponent. Notably, specular bed reflections are associated with a lower Hurst exponent, with diffuse scattering associated with a higher Hurst exponent. Abrupt waveforms (specular reflections) have previously been used as a RES diagnostic for basal water, and to test this assumption we compare our radar scattering map with a recent prediction for the basal thermal state. We demonstrate that the majority of thawed regions (above pressure melting point) exhibit a diffuse scattering signature, which is in contradiction to the prior approach. Self-affine statistics provide a generalised model for subglacial terrain and can improve our understanding of the relationship between basal properties and ice-sheet dynamics.
Issue Date: 24-May-2017
Date of Acceptance: 21-Apr-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/48253
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5194/tc-11-1247-2017
ISSN: 1994-0424
Publisher: European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Start Page: 1247
End Page: 1264
Journal / Book Title: Cryosphere
Volume: 11
Copyright Statement: © Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/K004956/2
GEOG.RE2356
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Geography, Physical
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Physical Geography
Geology
ANTARCTIC ICE-SHEET
SEA-LEVEL RISE
BENEATH THWAITES GLACIER
WEST ANTARCTICA
BED ROUGHNESS
STATISTICAL PROPERTIES
SPECTRAL ROUGHNESS
JAKOBSHAVN ISBRAE
EAST ANTARCTICA
SHEAR-MARGIN
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
0405 Oceanography
0406 Physical Geography And Environmental Geoscience
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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