International Symposium on Five Decades of Radioglaciology

Event Type:
Conferences and Workshops
8 June 2019 to 12 June 2019
Stanford University, Stanford, California

The International Glaciological Society will hold an International Symposium on ‘Five Decades of Radioglaciology’.


Radio echo sounding is a powerful geophysical approach for directly characterizing the subsurface conditions of terrestrial and planetary ice masses at the local, regional and global scales. As a result, a wide array of orbital, airborne, towed and in situ instruments, platforms and data analysis approaches for radar sounding have been developed, applied or proposed. Terrestrially, airborne radar sounding data has been used in glaciology to observe ice thickness, basal topography, englacial layers and for more than five decades. More recently, it has also been exploited to estimate the extent and configuration of subglacial water, the ice sheet surface, the geometry of subglacial bedforms, the spatial variation of melt, temperature, and the transition between frozen and thawed bed. Planetary radar sounders have been used or are planned to observe the subsurface and near-surface conditions of Mars, Earth’s Moon, comets and the icy moons of Jupiter. These instruments provide critical subsurface context for surface sensing, particle, and potential-field instruments in planetary exploration payloads. This symposium will discuss advances in radar sounding systems, mission concepts, signal processing, data analysis, modeling and scientific interpretation.


We seek papers and presentations that advance the understanding of radar sounding and its use in physical glaciology. Key focus areas include (but are not limited to):

  1. Radar systems: development, performance and platforms
  2. Data: intercomparison, validation and release
  3. Radar processing: propagation, inversion and automation
  4. Englacial structure: layers, deformation and accretion bodies
  5. Attenuation: near surface properties, temperature and chemistry
  6. Bed conditions: topography, roughness, thermal state and hydrology
  7. Interpretation: comparing observations with modeling and theory.


True to tradition, the symposium will include oral and poster sessions interlaced with ample free time to facilitate interactions between the participants. Additional activities include an opening icebreaker, a banquet dinner and an excursion during the mid-symposium afternoon break.


Participants who wish to present a paper (oral or poster) at the Symposium will be required to submit an abstract by 11 March 2019. Accepted abstracts will be posted on the Symposium’s website. The Council of the International Glaciological Society will publish a thematic issue of the Annals of Glaciology on topics consistent with the Symposium themes. Participants are encouraged to submit manuscripts for this Annals volume. The deadline for submission of Annals papers is 1 August 2019.

More information

Link to Symposium Webpage