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  1. Abstract

    In airborne radargrams, undulating periodic patterns in amplitude that overprint traditional radiostratigraphic layering are occasionally observed, however, they have yet to be analyzed from a geophysical or glaciological perspective. We present evidence supported by theory that these depth‐periodic patterns are consistent with a modulation of the received radar power due to the birefringence of polar ice, and therefore indicate the presence of bulk fabric anisotropy. Here, we investigate the periodic component of birefringence‐induced radar power recorded in airborne radar data at the eastern shear margin of Thwaites Glacier and quantify the lateral variation in azimuthal fabric strength across this margin. We find the depth variability of birefringence periodicity crossing the shear margin to be a visual expression of its shear state and its development, which appears consistent with present‐day ice deformation. The morphology of the birefringent patterns is centered at the location of maximum shear and observed in all cross‐margin profiles, consistent with predictions of ice fabric when subjected to simple shear. The englacial fabric appears stronger inside the ice stream than outward of the shear margin. The detection of birefringent periodicity from non‐polarimetric radargrams presents a novel use of subsurface radar to constrain lateral variations in fabric strength,more »locate present and past shear margins, and characterize the deformation history of polar ice sheets.

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  2. Antarctic subglacial lakes can play an important role in ice sheet dynamics, biology, geology, and oceanography, but it is difficult to definitively constrain their character and locations. Subglacial lake locations are related to factors including heat flux, ice surface slope, ice thickness, and bed topography, though these relationships are not fully quantified. Bed topography is particularly important for determining where water flows and accumulates, but digital elevation models of the ice sheet bed rely on interpolation and are unrealistically smooth, biasing estimates of subglacial lake location and surface area. To address this issue, we use geostatistical methods to simulate realistically rough bed topography. We use our simulated topography to predict subglacial lake distribution across the continent using a binomial logistic regression, which uses physical parameters and known lake locations to calculate the probabilities of lake occurrences. Our results suggest that topography models interpolated without appropriate geostatistics overestimate subglacial lake surface area and that total lake surface area is lower than previously predicted. We find that radar‐detected lakes are more likely to occur in the interior of East Antarctica, while altimetry‐detected (active) lakes are expected to be found in West Antarctica and near the grounding line. We observe that radar‐detected lakesmore »have a high correlation with heat flux and ice thickness, while active lakes are associated with higher ice velocity.

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