Merging Radar with Models: Getting New Geophysical Insights Into the Subsurface System of Ice Sheets

The School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Presents Dr. Wing Yin "Winnie" Chu, Stanford University

The last decade has seen significant advancements in our understanding of ice sheet hydrology and in particular, the role of subsurface drainage hidden within and beneath the ice sheets. 

Radar sounding is one of the few unique geophysical tools that allow us to image and constrain processes occur in these traditionally difficult-to-observe subsurface environments. Nonetheless, despite their usefulness, robust analysis of radar sounding data face several technical challenges. 

These include uncertainties related to spatially variable attenuation losses and roughness scattering. As a result, applications of ice-penetrating radar have so far been limited to local-scale studies and mapping distribution of static water within and beneath the glaciers. 

In this talk, I will present novel methods where I combine ice-penetrating radar and numerical ice-sheet modeling to extract additional information from radar sounding data. I will demonstrate how we can apply this joint radar-model technique to gain new geophysical insights into the structure and dynamics of subsurface drainage systems in the Greenland ice sheet. 

I will delve into the importance of understanding the large-scale characteristics of these systems for the overall dynamics of ice sheets and their response to surface melting. 

Event Details


  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019
    11:00 am - 11:50 am
Location: Ford Environmental, Science & Technology (ES&T) Building, Rm. L1205, 11am
Fee(s): Free

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  • Wing Yin Chu

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Andrew Newman