Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
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, Michael A. Cooper, Dustin M. Schroeder, Christopher N. Williams, John D. Paden, Martin J. Siegert, and Jonathan L. Bamber

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Cited articles

Aglyamov, Y., Schroeder, D. M., and Vance, S. D.: Bright prospects for radar detection of Europa's ocean, Icarus, 281, 334–337,, 2017.
Bamber, J. L., Griggs, J. A., Hurkmans, R. T. W. L., Dowdeswell, J. A., Gogineni, S. P., Howat, I., Mouginot, J., Paden, J., Palmer, S., Rignot, E., and Steinhage, D.: A new bed elevation dataset for Greenland, The Cryosphere, 7, 499–510,, 2013a.
Bamber, J. L., Siegert, M. J., Griggs, J. A., Marshall, S. J., and Spada, G.: Paleofluvial Mega-Canyon Beneath the Central Greenland Ice Sheet, Science, 341, 997–1000,, 2013b.
Berry, M. V.: The Statistical Properties of Echoes Diffracted from Rough Surfaces, Philos. T. Roy. Soc. A, 273, 611–654,, 1973.
Bingham, R. G. and Siegert, M. J.: Quantifying subglacial bed roughness in Antarctica: implications for ice-sheet dynamics and history, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 28, 223–236,, 2009.
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.