Brief communication: On the potential of seismic polarity reversal to detect a thin low-velocity layer above a high-velocity layer in ice-rich rock glaciers

Boaga, Jacopo; Pavoni, MIrko; Bast, Alexander; Weber, Samuel

Seismic refraction tomography is a commonly used technique to characterize rock glaciers, as the boundary between unfrozen and ice-bearing layers represents a strong impedance contrast. In several rock glaciers, we observed a reversed polarity of the waves refracted by an extended ice-bearing layer compared to direct wave arrivals. This phase change is due to the presence of a thin low-velocity, i.e. fine- to coarse-grained sediments with ice, above a thicker high-velocity ice layer. Our results are confirmed by modelling and analysis of synthetic seismograms to demonstrate that the presence of a low-velocity layer produces a polarity reversal on the seismic gather.

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Boaga, Jacopo / Pavoni, MIrko / Bast, Alexander / et al: Brief communication: On the potential of seismic polarity reversal to detect a thin low-velocity layer above a high-velocity layer in ice-rich rock glaciers. 2023. Copernicus Publications.

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