Characterization of subglacial landscapes by a two-parameter roughness index

X. Li, B. Sun, Martin Siegert, Robert Bingham, X. Tang, D. Zhang, X. Cui, X. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies using Fourier transformation (FT) methods to analyze subglacial roughness have shown promise for distinguishing between different types of subglacial landscape from raw subglacial elevation data. We derive a two-parameter FT roughness index {ξ, η}, where ξ is based on the FT of elevation (as previously considered in isolation), and η is based on both the FT of elevation and the FT of bed-slope profile. In this way, we take account of both vertical and horizontal irregularities in subglacial surfaces. We demonstrate the statistical veracity of using {ξ, η} to consider roughness in terms of obstacle amplitudes and spacing, and consider the use of {ξ, η} in studies of ice dynamics and subglacial geomorphological interpretation. We show that {ξ, η} can be linked to basal sliding rates on the metre scale, and can be used to differentiate further than single-parameter roughness indices between different classes of subglacial landscape, in particular between erosional and depositional settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-836
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Issue number199
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

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