Understanding antarctic ice
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Understanding Antarctic Ice. South Pole. Dome. road to work. Summer camp. Amundsen-Scott South Pole station. Amundson-Scott South Pole. Questions about the ice. A. How cold the ice is B. How old the ice is C. How the ice moves D. How clean the ice is. Light traveling through ice.

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Understanding Antarctic Ice

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Understanding Antarctic Ice


South Pole

Dome

road to work

Summer camp

Amundsen-Scott South Pole station

Amundson-Scott South Pole


Questions about the ice

A. How cold the ice is

B. How old the ice is

C. How the ice moves

D. How clean the ice is


Light traveling through ice

Object is

blurred

scattering

absorption

Object is

dimmer


What causes light scattering in ice?

1. Bubbles (trapped air)

Q: As we go deeper, scattering by bubbles

  • gets stronger (worse)

  • gets weaker (better)

  • does not change

    Why?


What causes light scattering in ice?

2. Dust particles

Q: As we go deeper, scattering by dust

Ans. varies wildly


What causes light absorption in ice?

3. Volcanic Ash


How do we know how much dust is in the ice?

Old school approach: take ice cores


How do we know how much dust is in the ice?

Measure twice,

melt once


How old is the ice?

(We don’t really need to know, but we can measure it.)


Ice flow at the South Pole

CNN

The ice surface moves by

one inch per day= 9 m/yr

“South Pole” is marked every Jan 1


Nobody knows (yet) if bottom

of ice sheet is dry (frozen) or

wet (melted)


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