Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesThe Grantham Institute for Climate Change

Co-Director,Grantham Institute forClimate Change&Environment



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Ms Gosia Gayer +44 (0)20 7594 9666




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BibTex format

author = {Jordan, T and Bamber, J and Williams, C and Paden, J and Siegert, MJ and Huybrechts, P and Gagliardini, O and Gillet-Chaulet, F},
doi = {10.5194/tc-10-1547-2016},
journal = {Cryosphere},
pages = {1547--1570},
title = {An ice sheet wide framework for radar-inference of englacial attenuation and basal reflection with application to Greenland},
url = {},
volume = {10},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Radar inference of the bulk properties of glacierbeds, most notably identifying basal melting, is, in general,derived from the basal reflection coefficient. On the scale ofan ice sheet, unambiguous determination of basal reflectionis primarily limited by uncertainty in the englacial attenuationof the radio wave, which is an Arrhenius function oftemperature. Existing bed-returned power algorithms for derivingattenuation assume that the attenuation rate is regionallyconstant, which is not feasible at an ice-sheet-wide scale.Here we introduce a new semi-empirical framework for derivingenglacial attenuation, and, to demonstrate its efficacy,we apply it to the Greenland Ice Sheet. A central featureis the use of a prior Arrhenius temperature model to estimatethe spatial variation in englacial attenuation as a firstguess input for the radar algorithm. We demonstrate regionsof solution convergence for two input temperature fields andfor independently analysed field campaigns. The coverageachieved is a trade-off with uncertainty and we propose thatthe algorithm can be “tuned” for discrimination of basal melt(attenuation loss uncertainty ∼ 5 dB). This is supported byour physically realistic (∼ 20 dB) range for the basal reflectioncoefficient. Finally, we show that the attenuation solutioncan be used to predict the temperature bias of thermomechanicalice sheet models and is in agreement with known modeltemperature biases at the Dye 3 ice core.
AU - Jordan,T
AU - Bamber,J
AU - Williams,C
AU - Paden,J
AU - Siegert,MJ
AU - Huybrechts,P
AU - Gagliardini,O
AU - Gillet-Chaulet,F
DO - 10.5194/tc-10-1547-2016
EP - 1570
PY - 2016///
SN - 1994-0424
SP - 1547
TI - An ice sheet wide framework for radar-inference of englacial attenuation and basal reflection with application to Greenland
T2 - Cryosphere
UR -
UR -
VL - 10
ER -