28 Jun 2024
 | 28 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Review article: Feature tracing in radio-echo sounding products of terrestrial ice sheets and planetary bodies

Hameed Moqadam and Olaf Eisen

Abstract. Radio-echo sounding (RES) is a useful technique for measuring the subsurface properties of ice sheets and glaciers.  One of the most important and unique outcomes is the mapping of ice sheets' englacial layer stratigraphy, mainly consisting of isochronous reflection horizons. Mapping those is still a labour-intensive task. This review provides an overview of state-of-the art (semi-)automated methods for identifying ice surface, basal, and internal reflection horizons from radargrams in radioglaciology.  We discuss a variety of methods which were developed or applied to RES data over the last decades, including image processing, statistical techniques, and deep learning approaches. For each approach, we briefly summarize their procedures, challenges, and potential applications. Despite major advances, we conclude that gaps remain in effectively mapping internal reflection horizons in an automated way, but with deep learning representing a potential advancement. This paper aims to inform researchers and practitioners in radioglaciology about current and future trends in mapping the englacial stratigraphy of ice sheets.

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Hameed Moqadam and Olaf Eisen

Status: open (until 18 Aug 2024)

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Hameed Moqadam and Olaf Eisen
Hameed Moqadam and Olaf Eisen


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Short summary
This is an overview on methodologies that have been applied to map the internal reflection horizons, or ice-layer boundaries, of ice sheets on earth and other planets. We briefly explain radar applications in glaciology and the methods which have been used and published. There are summaries of the published work of the last two decades. Finally, we conclude by introducing the gaps and opportunities for further advancement in this field, and present possible future directions.