CaltechTHESIS
  A Caltech Library Service

Radar methods for the exploration of glaciers

Citation

Steenson, Bernard Owen (1951) Radar methods for the exploration of glaciers. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:10092014-103732963

Abstract

The problem of finding the depths of glaciers and the current methods are discussed briefly. Radar methods are suggested as a possible improvement for, or adjunct to, seismic and gravity survey methods. The feasibility of propagating electromagnetic waves in ice and the maximum range to be expected are then investigated theoretically with the aid of experimental data on the dielectric properties of ice. It is found that the maximum expected range is great enough to measure the depth of many glaciers at the lower radar frequencies if there is not too much liquid water present. Greater ranges can be attained by going to lower frequencies.

The results are given of two expeditions in two different years to the Seward Glacier in the Yukon Territory. Experiments were conducted on a small valley glacier whose depth was determined by seismic sounding. Many echoes were received but their identification was uncertain. Using the best echoes, a profile was obtained each year, but they were not in exact agreement with each other. It could not be definitely established that echoes had been received from bedrock. Agreement with seismic methods for a considerable number of glaciers would have to be obtained before radar methods could be relied upon. The presence of liquid water in the ice is believed to be one of the greatest obstacles. Besides increasing the attenuation and possibly reflecting energy, it makes it impossible to predict the velocity of propagation. The equipment used was far from adequate for such purposes, so many of the difficulties could be attributed to this. Partly because of this, and the fact that there are glaciers with very little liquid water present, radar methods are believed to be worthy of further research for the exploration of glaciers.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Electrical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Pickering, William Hayward
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1951
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Arctic Institute of North AmericaUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:10092014-103732963
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:10092014-103732963
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8684
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Oct 2014 20:38
Last Modified:16 May 2016 19:06

Thesis Files

[img]
Preview
PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.

11Mb

Repository Staff Only: item control page