Skip to Main Content
We investigate the degree to which ultrahigh frequency radio emission can be used to estimate subsurface physical temperature in the polar ice sheets. We combine electromagnetic emission forward models with plausible models of depth-dependent physical properties in the ice sheet. Temperature models are parameterized with variables including accumulation rate, geothermal heat flux, and surface temperature. Scattering is parameterized using empirical observations of grain growth combined with measured densities. Electromagnetic absorption is modeled using dielectric dispersion processes and semiempirical models based on observations. Our models illustrate that information about East Antarctic ice sheet temperature from near the surface to near the base can be gleaned from ultrawideband radiometer data. Based on our modeling study, we illustrate an instrument concept to measure ice sheet temperature profiles comprising a novel ultrawideband radiometer.