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Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica

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Shallow radar

Investigations of spatial variability of snow and firn properties by the University of Oslo.

Shallow RadarScience Objectives

  • Determine spatial variability of accumulation rate
  • Determine variation in physical properties of firn


Measure near-surface internal layering at:
  • C-band (5.3 GHz)
  • P-band (800 MHz)

In order to extend measurements of snow and firn properties to a larger scale, radar studies will be used for subsurface sensing of accumulation rate and layering. The data will be used in conjunction with the snow and firn physical property data to investigate the physical basis for using satellite imagery to map accumulation rate.

Near-subsurface firn characterization will be obtained using a polarimetric 5.3 GHz GPR system and a commercial 800 MHz impulse radar, which will allow for direct comparison between spaceborne and airborne C and P-band radars and the GPR scattering profiles. Scattering models and simulations will be adapted in order to interpret the data and bring closure to the satellite and GPR comparison and to retrieve snow and glacier properties. The data obtained will also give valuable input to calibration/validation for CryoSat, Radarsat-II, ALOS, and TerraSAR mission satellites.

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