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  1. Abstract Ice-penetrating radar sounding is a powerful geophysical tool for studying terrestrial and planetary ice with a rich glaciological heritage reaching back over half a century. Recent years have also seen rapid growth in both the radioglaciological community itself and in the scope and sophistication of its analysis of ice-penetrating radar data. This has been spurred by a combination of growing datasets and improvements in computational resources as well as advances in radar sounding instrumentation and platforms. Together, these developments are transforming the field and highlight exciting paths forward for future innovation and investigation. 
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  2. Abstract

    Sea-level rise projections rely on accurate predictions of ice mass loss from Antarctica. Climate change promotes greater mass loss by destabilizing ice shelves and accelerating the discharge of upstream grounded ice. Mass loss is further exacerbated by mechanisms such as the Marine Ice Sheet Instability and the Marine Ice Cliff Instability. However, the effect of basal thermal state changes of grounded ice remains largely unexplored. Here, we use numerical ice sheet modeling to investigate how warmer basal temperatures could affect the Antarctic ice sheet mass balance. We find increased mass loss in response to idealized basal thawing experiments run over 100 years. Most notably, frozen-bed patches could be tenuously sustaining the current ice configuration in parts of George V, Adélie, Enderby, and Kemp Land regions of East Antarctica. With less than 5 degrees of basal warming, these frozen patches may begin to thaw, producing new loci of mass loss.

     
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  3. Abstract

    Jupiter’s moon Europa is a prime candidate for extraterrestrial habitability in our solar system. The surface landforms of its ice shell express the subsurface structure, dynamics, and exchange governing this potential. Double ridges are the most common surface feature on Europa and occur across every sector of the moon, but their formation is poorly understood, with current hypotheses providing competing and incomplete mechanisms for the development of their distinct morphology. Here we present the discovery and analysis of a double ridge in Northwest Greenland with the same gravity-scaled geometry as those found on Europa. Using surface elevation and radar sounding data, we show that this double ridge was formed by successive refreezing, pressurization, and fracture of a shallow water sill within the ice sheet. If the same process is responsible for Europa’s double ridges, our results suggest that shallow liquid water is spatially and temporally ubiquitous across Europa’s ice shell.

     
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  4. 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. 
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  5. Abstract

    The expansion of refrozen ice slabs in Greenland's firn may enhance meltwater runoff and increase surface mass loss. However, the impermeability of ice slabs and the pathways for meltwater export from these regions remain poorly characterized. Here, we present ice‐penetrating radar observations of extensive meltwater infiltration and refreezing beneath ice slabs in Northwest Greenland. We show that these buried ice complexes form where supraglacial streams or lakes drain through surface crevasses into relict firn beneath the ice slabs. This suggests that the firn can continue to buffer mass loss from surface meltwater runoff and limit meltwater delivery to the ice sheet bed even after ice slabs have formed. Therefore, a significant time lag may exist between the initial formation of ice slabs and the onset of complete surface runoff and seasonal meltwater drainage to the subglacial system in interior regions of the ice sheet.

     
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  6. Abstract

    Surface meltwater runoff dominates present-day mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet. In Greenland’s interior, porous firn can limit runoff by retaining meltwater unless perched low-permeability horizons, such as ice slabs, develop and restrict percolation. Recent observations suggest that such horizons might develop rapidly during extreme melt seasons. Here we present radar sounding evidence that an extensive near surface melt layer formed following the extreme melt season in 2012. This layer was still present in 2017 in regions up to 700 m higher in elevation and 160 km further inland than known ice slabs. We find that melt layer formation is driven by local, short-timescale thermal and hydrologic processes in addition to mean climate state. These melt layers reduce vertical percolation pathways, and, under appropriate firn temperature and surface melt conditions, encourage further ice aggregation at their horizon. Therefore, the frequency of extreme melt seasons relative to the rate at which pore space and cold content regenerates above the most recent melt layer may be a key determinant of the firn’s multi-year response to surface melt.

     
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  7. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Subglacial topography is an important feature in numerous ice-sheet analyses and can drive the routing of water at the bed. Bed topography is primarily measured with ice-penetrating radar. Significant gaps, however, remain in data coverage that require interpolation. Topographic interpolations are typically made with kriging, as well as with mass conservation, where ice flow dynamics are used to constrain bed geometry. However, these techniques generate bed topography that is unrealistically smooth at small scales, which biases subglacial water flowpath models and makes it difficult to rigorously quantify uncertainty in subglacial drainage patterns. To address this challenge, we adapt a geostatistical simulation method with probabilistic modeling to stochastically simulate bed topography such that the interpolated topography retains the spatial statistics of the ice-penetrating radar data. We use this method to simulate subglacial topography using mass conservation topography as a secondary constraint. We apply a water routing model to each of these realizations. Our results show that many of the flowpaths significantly change with each topographic realization, demonstrating that geostatistical simulation can be useful for assessing confidence in subglacial flowpaths. 
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  8. Abstract. The crystal orientation fabric (COF) of ice sheets records the past history ofice sheet deformation and influences present-day ice flow dynamics. Though notwidely implemented, coherent ice-penetrating radar is able to detect bulkanisotropic fabric patterns by exploiting the birefringence of ice crystals atradar frequencies, with the assumption that one of the crystallographic axesis aligned in the vertical direction. In this study, we conduct a suite ofquad-polarimetric measurements consisting of four orthogonal antennaorientation combinations near the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divideice core site. From these measurements, we are able to quantify the azimuthalfabric asymmetry at this site to a depth of 1400 m at abulk-averaged resolution of up to 15 m. Our estimates of fabricasymmetry closely match corresponding fabric estimates directly measured fromthe WAIS Divide ice core. While ice core studies are often unable to determinethe absolute fabric orientation due to core rotation during extraction, we areable to identify and conclude that the fabric orientation is depth-invariantto at least 1400 m, equivalent to 6700 years BP (years before1950) and aligns closely with the modern surface strain direction at WAISDivide. Our results support the claim that the deformation regime at WAISDivide has not changed substantially through the majority of theHolocene. Rapid polarimetric determination of bulk fabric asymmetry andorientation compares well with much more laborious sample-based COFmeasurements from thin ice sections. Because it is the bulk-averaged fabricthat ultimately influences ice flow, polarimetric radar methods provide anopportunity for its accurate and widespread mapping and its incorporation intoice flow models. 
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