Ice shelf density reconstructed from optical televiewer borehole logging

Authors

  • Bryn Hubbard,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Glaciology, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK
    • Corresponding author: B. Hubbard, Centre for Glaciology, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Llandinam Bldg., Aberystwyth SY23 3DB, UK. (byh@aber.ac.uk)

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  • Jean-Louis Tison,

    1. Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Morgane Philippe,

    1. Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Billie Heene,

    1. Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Frank Pattyn,

    1. Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Environnement, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
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  • Terry Malone,

    1. Centre for Glaciology, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK
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  • Johannes Freitag

    1. Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
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Abstract

[1] Optical televiewer luminosity logs are compared with densities measured gravimetrically on 520 snow, firn, and ice samples from two locations of similar annual temperature (~ −14°C) and contrasting accumulation rates (0.23 and 0.43 m water equivalent per year) on the Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, Antarctica. At the scale of ≥10−1 m, an inverse exponential relationship (R2 = 0.96) is recorded between density and luminosity, indicating (i) that optical televiewing luminosity provides an effective proxy for density at such ice shelves and (ii) that densities may be reconstructed from boreholes drilled elsewhere by hot water without the need for core material. Our analysis also suggests that this relationship may hold for newly formed ice as well as for snow and firn. At the scale of ≤10−1 m, both luminosity and density show similar patterns, but precise correlation is confounded by detailed differences between the two records.

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