Articles | Volume 14, issue 12
The Cryosphere, 14, 4495–4506, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-4495-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 4495–4506, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-4495-2020
Research article
08 Dec 2020
Research article | 08 Dec 2020

The role of electrical conductivity in radar wave reflection from glacier beds

Slawek M. Tulaczyk and Neil T. Foley

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Short summary
Much of what we know about materials hidden beneath glaciers and ice sheets on Earth has been interpreted using radar reflection from the ice base. A common assumption is that electrical conductivity of the sub-ice materials does not influence the reflection strength and that the latter is controlled only by permittivity, which depends on the fraction of water in these materials. Here we argue that sub-ice electrical conductivity should be generally considered when interpreting radar records.