Articles | Volume 15, issue 8
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-4117-2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-4117-2021
Research article
 | 
27 Aug 2021
Research article |  | 27 Aug 2021

Rapid and accurate polarimetric radar measurements of ice crystal fabric orientation at the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide ice core site

Tun Jan Young, Carlos Martín, Poul Christoffersen, Dustin M. Schroeder, Slawek M. Tulaczyk, and Eliza J. Dawson

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If the molecules that make up ice are oriented in specific ways, the ice becomes softer and enhances flow. We use radar to measure the orientation of ice molecules in the top 1400 m of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide. Our results match those from an ice core extracted 10 years ago and conclude that the ice flow has not changed direction for the last 6700 years. Our methods are straightforward and accurate and can be applied in places across ice sheets unsuitable for ice coring.