Document Type


Publication Title

Annals of Glaciology


International Glaciological Society

Publication Date



We have conducted a series of experiments designed to investigate elastic and electromagnetic (EM) velocity anisotropy associated with a preferentially aligned fracture system on a temperate valley glacier in south-central Alaska, USA. Measurements include a three-dimensional compressional wave (P-wave) seismic reflection survey conducted over a 300 m x 300 m survey patch, with uniform source grid and static checkerboard receiver pattern. Additionally, we acquired a multiazimuth, multi-offset, polarimetric groundpenetrating radar (GPR) reflection experiment in a wagon-wheel geometry with 94 degrees of azimuthal coverage. Results show azimuthal variation in the P-wave normal-moveout velocity of less than 3% (3765 and 3630 ms-1 in the fast and slow directions respectively) and difference of nearly 5% between the fast (0.164m ns-1) and slow (0.156m ns-1) EM velocities. Fracture orientations estimated from the GPR and seismic velocity data are consistent and indicate a preferred fracture orientation that is 30-45 degrees oblique to glacier flow; these measurements agree with borehole observations. Anisotropic analysis of the polarimetric data gives a single volumetric water content estimate of .073+0.11%. We conclude that meaningful estimates of physical properties in glaciers based on EM or seismic velocity measurements require collecting data such that the presence of anisotropy can be evaluated and an anisotropic analysis employed when necessary.






© 2013 International Glaciological Society