EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Containing Englacial Attenuation in the Absence of Continuous Reflecting Interfaces

Dustin Schroeder1,2 and Riley Culberg1
Dustin Schroeder and Riley Culberg
  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, USA (
  • 2Department of Geophysics, Stanford University, USA

The attenuation experienced by ice penetrating radar sounding signals within glaciers, ice sheets, or planetary ice shells is an expression of the temperature and chemistry of the ice through which it propagates. As a result, placing observational constraints on the amount and spatial variation of englacial attenuation can reveal the thermophysical and chemical configuration of planetary and terrestrial ice masses. In terrestrial radioglaciology, there are well-established techniques for estimating attenuation using continuous reflecting interfaces such as englacial layers or the glacier bed. However, for the most challenging and resource-constrained observing scenarios (e.g. the sounding of Jovian icy moons) such interfaces may be rare, unusable, or absent. In these scenarios, established approaches are unlikely to yield useful attenuation - and therefore thermal or compositional - estimates. To address this challenge, we develop, demonstrate, and discuss alternative analysis approaches to constrain ice-sheet and/or ice-shell attenuation in the absence of continuous reflecting interfaces by exploiting volume scattering, shadowing, iso-attenuation horizons, and isolated reflectors in radar sounding data.

How to cite: Schroeder, D. and Culberg, R.: Containing Englacial Attenuation in the Absence of Continuous Reflecting Interfaces, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13430,, 2022.