We present a novel analysis method for the determination of the neutrino-nucleon Deep Inelastic
Scattering (DIS) cross section in the TeV - PeV energy range utilizing neutrino absorption by the
Earth. We analyze five years of data collected with the complete IceCube detector fromMay 2011
to May 2016. This analysis focuses on electromagnetic and hadronic showers (cascades) mainly
induced by electron and tau neutrinos. The applied event selection features high background
rejection (< 10% background contamination below 60 TeV, background free above 60 TeV) of
atmospheric muons and high signal efficiency (~80%). The final neutrino sample consists of
4808 events, with 402 events above 10 TeV reconstructed energy. An unfolding method was
applied to enable the mapping from reconstructed cascade parameters such as energy and zenith
to true neutrino variables. The analysis was performed assuming isotropic astrophysical neutrino
flux, in seven energy bins, and in two zenith bins ("down-going" from the south-hemisphere and
"up-going" from the north-hemisphere). The ratio of down-going to up-going events (which are
absorbed by the Earth at high energies) is sensitive to the neutrino-nucleon cross section but
insensitive to the astrophysical neutrino flux uncertainties.
The neutrino-nucleon DIS cross section thus inferred is consistent with the Standard Model
expectation within the uncertainties.