UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Digital impulse radar for glaciology : instrumentation, modelling, and field studies Jones, Francis Hugh Melvill


Several aspects of impulse radar echo sounding of small glaciers are investigated. First, the ranges of values expected for conductivity and relative dielectric permittivity of glacier ice, glacier bed materials and mixtures of ice and rock are established. These parameters, and the fundamentals of electromagnetic wave propagation, are employed in a modelling scheme that examines the reflection of pulses from planar reflectors within the glacier. The glacier bed can be modelled as solid rock or unconsolidated debris and as either frozen or wet. A layer of mixed ice and rock between the glacier ice and bed can also be included. Signal enhancement, especially using multi-channel principal component analysis, is discussed. Discussion of practical application of the technique begins with the description of a portable microprocessor-controlled instrument capable of recording digitized echograms. Then results from experiments on Trapridge Glacier, Yukon Territory are presented. Surveys up to half a kilometer long with soundings at 1 to 20 m intervals were conducted. Bed topography is presented and locally anomalous sections are examined. Smaller-scale parameters such as the attenuation constant of ice and reflector properties are also extracted from the data. Subglacial and englacial temporal variations were studied by automatically recording echoes at one location every 20 minutes over a three-day period. Such experiments are to be used in the future in conjunction with other, concurrent, geophysical and hydrological investigations.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.