Abstract

Recently, absorption and scattering at depths 800–1000 m in South Pole ice have been studied with transit-time distributions of pulses from a variable-frequency laser sent between emitters and receivers embedded in the ice. At 800–1000 m, scattering is independent of wavelength and the scattering centers are air bubbles of size ≫ wavelength. At 1500–2000 m it is predicted that all bubbles will have transformed into air-hydrate clathrate crystals and that scattering occurs primarily at dust grains, at liquid acids concentrated along three-crystal boundaries, and at salt grains. Scattering on decorated dislocations, at ice–ice boundaries, and at hydrate-ice boundaries will be of minor importance. Scattering from liquid acids in veins at three-crystal boundaries goes as ∼λ-1 to ∼λ-2 and should show essentially no depth dependence. Scattering from dust grains goes as ∼λ-2 and should show peaks at depths of ∼1050, ∼1750, and ∼2200 m in South Pole ice. If marine salt grains remain undissolved, they will scatter like insoluble dust grains. Refraction at ice–ice boundaries and at hydrate-ice boundaries is manifested by a multitude of small-angle scatters, independent of wavelength. The largest contribution to Rayleigh-like scattering is likely due to dislocations decorated discontinuously with impurities. Freshly grown laboratory ice exhibits a large Rayleigh-like scattering that we attribute to the much higher density of decorated dislocations than in glacial ice.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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