Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 11, 1247–1264, 2017
The Cryosphere, 11, 1247–1264, 2017

Research article 24 May 2017

Research article | 24 May 2017

Self-affine subglacial roughness: consequences for radar scattering and basal water discrimination in northern Greenland

Thomas M. Jordan et al.

Data sets

Likely Basal Thermal State of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Version 1 J. A. MacGregor, M. Fahnestock, G. Catania, J. Paden, P. Gogineni, M. Morlighem, W. Colgan, S. M. Nowicki, G. Clow, A. Aschwanden, S. F. Price, and H. Seroussi

Level 1B and Level 2 OIB RES data Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)

Short summary
Using radio-echo sounding data from northern Greenland, we demonstrate that subglacial roughness exhibits self-affine (fractal) scaling behaviour. This enables us to assess topographic control upon the bed-echo waveform, and explain the spatial distribution of the degree of scattering (specular and diffuse reflections). Via comparison with a prediction for the basal thermal state (thawed and frozen regions of the bed) we discuss the consequences of our study for basal water discrimination.