Radio Glaciology: A window into the physical processes of ice sheets

22 aprile 2016
Versione stampabile

Date: April 22, 2016
Time: 3 pm
Location: Meeting Room Ofek - Polo Scientifico e Tecnologico "Fabio Ferrari" (Edificio Povo 1, via Sommarive 5 – Povo, Trento)

Dustin Schroeder - School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University

Radio echo sounding is a uniquely powerful geophysical technique for studying the interior of ice sheets, glaciers, and icy planetary bodies. It can provide broad coverage and deep penetration as well as interpretable ice thickness, basal topography, and englacial radio stratigraphy. However, despite the long tradition of glaciological interpretation of radar images, quantitative analyses of radar sounding data are rare and face several technical challenges. These include attenuation uncertainty from unknown ice temperature and chemistry, clutter and losses from surface and volume scattering, and a lack of problem-specific radar theory. However, there is rich, often underexploited, information in modern radar sounding data, which is being collected over terrestrial and planetary ice at an unprecedented rate. The development and application of hypothesis-driven analysis approaches for these data can place observational constraints on the morphologic, hydrologic, geologic, mechanical, thermal, and oceanographic configurations of ice sheets and glaciers. These boundary conditions - and the physical processes which they express and control - are filling a fundamental gap our ability to understand and predict the evolution, stability, and sea level contributions of marine ice sheets. 

About the speaker: 
Dustin Schroeder is an assistant professor of geophysics in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. Heworks on the fundamental problem of observing, understanding, and predicting the configuration and evolution of ice sheet boundary conditions using ice penetrating radar sounding data. Before coming to Stanford he worked as a radar systems engineer with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.  He is also a science team member and co-investigator on the REASON (Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-Surface) radar sounder on NASA’s Europa Clipper mission and is an active collaborator on the RIME (Radar for Icy Moon Exploration) radar sounder for EASA’s JUICE mission to Ganymede.  He received his PhD in geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin where he served as the lead radar engineer and operator during three Antarctic field seasons with the ICECAP and Operation Ice-Bridge projects.

Contact person regarding this talk: Lorenzo Bruzzone, lorenzo.bruzzone [at]