Constraining Recent Ice Flow History at Korff Ice Rise, West Antarctica, Using Radar and Seismic Measurements of Ice Fabric

A.M. Brisbourne, C Martin, A.M. Smith, Alan Baird, J M Kendall, J. Kingslake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
181 Downloads (Pure)


The crystal orientation fabric of ice reflects its flow history, information which is required to better constrain projections of future ice sheet behavior. Here we present a novel combination of polarimetric phase-sensitive radar and seismic anisotropy measurements to provide independent and consistent constraints on ice fabric at Korff Ice Rise, within the Weddell Sea sector of West Antarctica. The nature and depth distribution of fabric in the ice column is constrained using the azimuthal variation in (1) the received power anomaly and phase difference of polarimetric vertical radar soundings and (2) seismic velocities and shear wave splitting measurements. Radar and seismic observations are modeled separately to determine the nature and strength of fabric within the ice column. Both methods indicate ice fabric above 200-m depth which is consistent with present-day ice-divide flow. However, both measurements also indicate an oblique girdle fabric below 230-m depth within the ice column, inconsistent with steady state divide flow. Our interpretation is that this deeper fabric is a remnant fabric from a previous episode of flow, which is currently being overwritten by ongoing fabric development associated with the present-day flow regime. The preexisting fabric is consistent with ice flow from the south prior to ice-divide formation, in agreement with models of Holocene ice sheet evolution. These findings apply new constraints to the flow history at Korff Ice Rise prior to divide formation and demonstrate the capacity of radar and seismic measurements to map fabric and thus constrain past ice flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-194
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Antarctica
  • anisotropy
  • fabric
  • ice sheet history
  • radar
  • seismic


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