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Title: Radiometric analysis of digitized Z-scope records in archival radar sounding film
Abstract The earliest airborne geophysical campaigns over Antarctica and Greenland in the 1960s and 1970s collected ice penetrating radar data on 35 mm optical film. Early subglacial topographic and englacial stratigraphic analyses of these data were foundational to the field of radioglaciology. Recent efforts to digitize and release these data have resulted in geometric and ice-thickness analysis that constrain subsurface change over multiple decades but stop short of radiometric interpretation. The primary challenge for radiometric analysis is the poorly-characterized compression applied to Z-scope records and the sparse sampling of A-scope records. Here, we demonstrate the information richness and radiometric interpretability of Z-scope records. Z-scope pixels have uncalibrated fast-time, slow-time, and intensity scales. We develop approaches for mapping each of these scales to physical units (microseconds, seconds, and signal to noise ratio). We then demonstrate the application of this calibration and analysis approach to a flight in the interior of East Antarctica with subglacial lakes and to a reflight of an East Antarctic ice shelf that was observed by both archival and modern radar. These results demonstrate the potential use of Z-scope signals to extend the baseline of radiometric observations of the subsurface by decades.  more » « less
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Journal of Glaciology
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National Science Foundation
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