First measurement of ice-bedrock interface of alpine glaciers by cosmic muon radiography

Nishiyama, Ryuichi; Ariga, A.; Ariga, T.; Käser, S.; Lechmann, Alessandro; Mair, David; Scampoli, P.; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo; Ereditato, Antonio; Schlunegger, F. (2017). First measurement of ice-bedrock interface of alpine glaciers by cosmic muon radiography. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(12), pp. 6244-6251. American Geophysical Union 10.1002/2017GL073599

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The shape of the bedrock underneath Alpine glaciers bears vital information on the erosional mechanism related to the flow of ice. So far, several geophysical exploration methods have been proposed to map the bedrock topography though with limited accuracy. Here, we illustrate the first results from a technology, called cosmic-ray muon radiography, newly applied in glacial geology to investigate the bedrock geometry beneath the Aletsch glacier situated in the Central Swiss Alps. For this purpose we installed new cosmic muon detectors made of emulsion films at three sites along the Jungfrau railway tunnel and measured the shape of the bedrock under the uppermost part of Aletsch glacier (Jungfraufirn). Our results constrain the continuation of the bedrock-ice interface up to a depth of 50 m below the surface, where the bedrock underneath the glacier strikes NE-SW and dips at 45°± 5°. This documents the first successful application of this technology to a glaciated environment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics (AEC)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Laboratory for High Energy Physics (LHEP)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Nishiyama, Ryuichi; Lechmann, Alessandro; Mair, David; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo and Ereditato, Antonio

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

0094-8276

Publisher:

American Geophysical Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Fritz Schlunegger

Date Deposited:

02 Aug 2017 14:53

Last Modified:

01 Jan 2018 02:37

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/2017GL073599

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.100096

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/100096

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