Surface and Bedrock Topography of Ice Caps in Iceland, Mapped by Radio Echo-Sounding

Helgi Björnsson
1986 Annals of Glaciology  
Since 1977, large areas on western Vatnajökull have been surveyed by ground-based, radio echo-sounding and the whole ice cap, HofsjökuIl, was surveyed in 1983. Detailed maps of the glacier-surface elevation and the sub-ice bedrock have been compiled. The instrumentation includes a 2–5 MHz, mono-pulse echo-sounder, for continuous profiling, a satellite geoceiver and Loran-C equipment, for navigation, and a precision pressure altimeter. The maps of western Vatnajökull cover about 1500 km2 and are
more » ... ut 1500 km2 and are compiled from 1500 km-long sounding lines, which yielded about 50 000 data points for ice thickness and 20 000 points for ice-surface elevation. The maps of HofsjökuIl cover 923 km2, the sounding lines were 1350 km long; 42 000 points were used for determining ice thickness and 30 000 for surface elevation. The maps obtained from these data are the first ones of the ice caps with surface elevation of known accuracy. The bedrock map of western Vatnajökull shows details of volcanic ridges and subglacial valleys, running north-east to south-west, as well as the central, volcanic complexes, Hamarinn, Bárdarbunga, and Grimsvtön and the related fissure swarms. The map of Hofsjökull reveals a large volcanic complex, with a 650 m deep caldera. The landforms in southern Hofsjökull are predominantly aligned from north to south, but those in the northern ice cap run north by 25° east.
doi:10.1017/s026030550000104x fatcat:vndjeyrt65anhih4iw5rt7d45q