Glacial seismology

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Department or Administrative Unit

Geological Sciences

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Seismic source and wave propagation studies contribute to understanding structure, transport, fracture mechanics, mass balance, and other processes within glaciers and surrounding environments. Glaciogenic seismic waves readily couple with the bulk Earth, and can be recorded by seismographs deployed at local to global ranges. Although the fracturing, ablating, melting, and/or highly irregular environment of active glaciers can be highly unstable and hazardous, informative seismic measurements can commonly be made at stable proximal ice or rock sites. Seismology also contributes more broadly to emerging studies of elastic and gravity wave coupling between the atmosphere, oceans, solid Earth, and cryosphere, and recent scientific and technical advances have produced glaciological/seismological collaborations across a broad range of scales and processes. This importantly includes improved insight into the responses of cryospheric systems to changing climate and other environmental conditions. Here, we review relevant fundamental physics and glaciology, and provide a broad review of the current state of glacial seismology and its rapidly evolving future directions.


This article was originally published in Reports on Progress in Physics. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Reports on Progress in Physics


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