Digital optical televiewing of ice boreholes

Bryn Hubbard, Sam Roberson, Denis Samyn, Derek Merton-Lyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Digital optical televiewing, recently developed to log and map terrestrial boreholes, provides a complete orientated image of borehole walls at a resolution of 1 mm along hole and typically <1 mm around hole. Here we provide an overview of optical televiewer (OPTV) technology and operation, and outline the potential contributions of the technique to ice-mass research with reference to an OPTV log of a borehole ∼21 m deep drilled in the lower accumulation area of Glacier de Tsanfleuron, Switzerland. The OPTV image of this borehole successfully reveals a variety of visibly contrasting ice types. These ice types have been characterized and their orientation mapped and, on the basis of this information, interpreted as: (1) primary foliation; (2) summer/autumn erosion surfaces; and (3) incipient foliation. Importantly, unrolled OPTV images can be inverted to recreate a virtual image of the borehole core, potentially, for the first time, allowing ice cores to be orientated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Issue number188
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2008


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