Scattering is often detected when ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys are performed on glaciers at different latitudes and in various environments. This event is often seen as an undesirable feature on data, but it can be exploited to quantify the debris content in mountain glaciers through a dedicated scattering inversion approach. At first, we considered the possible variables affecting the scattering mechanisms, namely the dielectric properties of the scatterers, their size, shape and quantity, as well as the wavelength of the electromagnetic (EM) incident field to define the initial conditions for the inversion. Each parameter was independently evaluated with forward modelling tests to quantify its effect in the scattering mechanism. After extensive tests, we found that the dimension and the amount of scatterers are the crucial parameters. We further performed modelling randomizing the scatterer distribution and dimension, critically evaluating the stability of the approach and the complexity of the models. After the tests on synthetic data, the inversion procedure was applied to field datasets, acquired on the Eastern Gran Zebrù glacier (Central Italian Alps). The results show that even a low percentage of debris can produce high scattering. The proposed methodology is quite robust and able to provide quantitative estimates of the debris content within mountain glaciers in different conditions.

GPR modelling and inversion to quantify the debris content within ice

Santin, Ilaria
;
Roncoroni, Giacomo;Forte, Emanuele;Gutgesell, Pietro;Pipan, Michele
2024-01-01

Abstract

Scattering is often detected when ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys are performed on glaciers at different latitudes and in various environments. This event is often seen as an undesirable feature on data, but it can be exploited to quantify the debris content in mountain glaciers through a dedicated scattering inversion approach. At first, we considered the possible variables affecting the scattering mechanisms, namely the dielectric properties of the scatterers, their size, shape and quantity, as well as the wavelength of the electromagnetic (EM) incident field to define the initial conditions for the inversion. Each parameter was independently evaluated with forward modelling tests to quantify its effect in the scattering mechanism. After extensive tests, we found that the dimension and the amount of scatterers are the crucial parameters. We further performed modelling randomizing the scatterer distribution and dimension, critically evaluating the stability of the approach and the complexity of the models. After the tests on synthetic data, the inversion procedure was applied to field datasets, acquired on the Eastern Gran Zebrù glacier (Central Italian Alps). The results show that even a low percentage of debris can produce high scattering. The proposed methodology is quite robust and able to provide quantitative estimates of the debris content within mountain glaciers in different conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3060338
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