Jones Seminar: Terrestrial and Planetary Radio Glaciology

Dustin Schroeder, Assistant Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University

Friday, October 12, 2018, 3:30–4:30pm

Rm. 100 (Spanos Auditorium), Cummings Hall

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 conditionsand the physical processes which they express and control—are filling a fundamental gap our ability to understand the evolution of both marine ice sheets and icy moons.

About the Speaker

Dustin Schroeder is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics and (by courtesy) of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University and is a Faculty Affiliate with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. His research focuses on observing and understanding the role that subglacial water plays in the evolution and stability of continental ice sheets and their contribution to the rate of sea level rise. He also works on the development, use, and analysis of geophysical radar remote sensing systems that are optimized to observe hypothesis-specific phenomena. His research group aspires to approaches problems from both an earth system science and radar system engineering perspective. He is a science team member on the REASON instrument on NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission, leads the passive sounding working group for the RIME instrument on ESA's JUICE mission, and is a science team member for the Mini-RF instrument on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. He also participated in three Antarctic field seasons with the ICECAP project and NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge as a radar engineer and operator.

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