Constraining Floating Ice Shelf Structures by Spectral Response of Teleseismic P-Wave Coda: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Thanh Son Phạm*, Hrvoje Tkalčić

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The recent deployment of a broadband seismic array on the floating ice shelf in the Antarctica's Ross sea presents a great opportunity to study the shelf structure using broadband seismic data. In this study, we develop a further improvement of the P-wave coda autocorrelation method, which proved capable of characterizing grounded ice-cap structures. Ice shelves are floating ice sheets connected to a landmass, and in order to decipher their structures, a water layer has to be added to the problem. We construct the power spectrum stacks of P-wave coda data, waveform records that immediately follow P arrivals, in the spectral domain, which are equivalent, via a Fourier transform, to widely used autocorrelograms in the time domain. At half of temporary seismic stations under consideration, we report prominent resonant peaks in the spectral autocorrelograms, associated with the ice-water configuration of the ice shelf. The lack of clear resonant pattern for the rest of the stations is suspected due to a high noise level in the icy environment and significant lateral heterogeneity at the local scale. Subsequently, we develop a formalism to explain the observed resonance and devise a grid-search scheme to estimate ice- and water-thicknesses underneath the stations. Our water-thickness estimates agree well with the previously documented measurements, but there is a discrepancy in the ice thickness results. Therefore, the method has a great potential to complement the existing ice-shelf model, to be used in future monitoring applications of ice shelves, or near-future space exploration to icy planets.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JB021082
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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