We investigate the propagation of seismic waves in anisotropic ice. Two effects are important: (i) sudden changes in crystal orientation fabric (COF) lead to englacial reflections; (ii) the anisotropic fabric induces an angle dependency on the seismic velocities and, thus, recorded traveltimes. Velocities calculated from the polycrystal elasticity tensor derived for the anisotropic fabric from measured COF eigenvalues of the EDML ice core, Antarctica, show good agreement with the velocity trend determined from a vertical seismic profiling. The agreement of the absolute velocity values, however, depends on the choice of the monocrystal elasticity tensor used for the calculation of the polycrystal properties. With this validation of seismic velocities we make use of abrupt changes in COF as common reflection mechanism for seismic and radar data below the firn–ice transition to investigate their occurrence by comparison with ice-core data. Our results highlight the possibility to complement regional radar surveys with local, surface-based seismic deployment to separate isochrones in radar data from other mechanisms. This is important for the reconnaissance of future ice-core drill sites, where accurate isochrone (i.e. non-COF) layer integrity allows for synchronization with other cores, as well as studies of ice dynamics considering non-homogeneous viscosity from preferred crystal orientations.
AWI Organizations > Geosciences > Junior Research Group: Ice deformation mechanisms
AWI Organizations > Geosciences > Junior Research Group: LIMPICS
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES II (2014-2018) > TOPIC 1: Changes and regional feedbacks in Arctic and Antarctic > WP 1.1: The polar atmosphere, interaction with sea ice, ocean and frozen land