Isochronous information in a Greenland ice sheet radio echo sounding data set

Louise C. Sime, Nanna B. Karlsson, John D. Paden, S. Prasad Gogineni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The evaluation of ice sheet models is one of the pressing problems in the study of ice sheet dynamics. Here we examine the question of how much isochronous information is contained within the publicly available Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) Greenland airborne radio echo soundings data set. We identify regions containing isochronous reflectors using automatic radio echo sounding processing (ARESP) algorithms. We find that isochronous reflectors are present within 36% of the CReSIS radio echo sounding englacial data by location and 41% by total number of data. Between 1000 and 3000 m in depth, isochronous reflectors are present along more than 50% of the data set flight path. Lower volumes of cold glacial period ice also correspond with more isochronous reflectors. We find good agreement between ARESP and continuity index results, providing confidence in these findings. Ice structure data sets, based on data identified here, will be of use in evaluating ice sheet simulations and the assessment of past rates of snow accumulation. Key Points New algorithms are used to identify regions containing isochronous reflectors The data set contains 36% isochronous reflector across ~200,000 km of flight line Isochronous data are more common inland and where less cold glacial ice occurs

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1593-1599
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • glaciology
  • Greenland
  • isochrone
  • radar
  • radioglaciology

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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