On the limitations of using polarimetric radar sounding to infer the crystal orientation fabric of ice masses
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We introduce a transfer matrix model for radio-wave propagation through layered anisotropic ice that permits an arbitrary dielectric permittivity tensor in each layer. The model is used to investigate how crystal orientation fabrics without a vertical principal direction affect polarimetric radar returns over glaciers and ice sheets. By expanding the c-axis orientation distribution in terms of a spherical harmonic series, we find that radar returns from synthetic fabric profiles are relatively insensitive to the harmonic mode responsible for a nonvertical principal direction; however, only for normally incident waves. Consequently, the strength of this mode might be relatively difficult to infer in glaciers and ice sheets, which in turn has implications for the ability to determine the full second-order structure tensor, needed to infer the local flow regime, flow history, or to represent the directional viscosity structure of glacier ice for ice-flow modeling.
Rathmann , N M , Lilien , D A , Grinsted , A , Gerber , T A , Young , T J & Dahl-Jensen , D 2022 , ' On the limitations of using polarimetric radar sounding to infer the crystal orientation fabric of ice masses ' , Geophysical Research Letters , vol. 49 , no. 1 , e2021GL096244 . https://doi.org/10.1029/2021gl096244
Geophysical Research Letters
Copyright © 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionFunding: The research leading to these results has received funding from the Villum Investigator grant no. 16572 as part of the IceFlow project.
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