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GLAS/ICESat 500 m Laser Altimetry Digital Elevation Model of Antarctica
Entry ID: NSIDC-0304

Abstract: The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument on the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) provides global measurements of elevation, and repeats measurements along nearly-identical tracks; its primary mission is to measure changes in ice volume (mass balance) over time. This digital elevation model (DEM) of Antarctica is derived from GLAS/ICESat laser altimetry profile data ... View entire text
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Description: Documentation
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Geographic Coverage
Spatial coordinates   
  N: -63.0   S: -86.0   E: 180.0   W: -180.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: John P. DiMarzio
Dataset Title: GLAS/ICESat 500 m Laser Altimetry Digital Elevation Model of Antarctica
Dataset Series Name: NSIDC-0304
Dataset Release Date: 2007-06-21
Dataset Release Place: Boulder, Colorado USA
Dataset Publisher: NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Version: 1
Online Resource:
Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 2003-02-01
Stop Date: 2005-06-30
Data Resolution
Latitude Resolution: 500 m
Longitude Resolution: 500 m
Quality Slope and elevation accuracy of the DEMs is best near the latitudinal limit of satellite coverage (±86°), and provides a good representation of the ice sheet and mountain areas (based on comparison with satellite images). DEM accuracy decreases as track spacing between ICESat profiles increases equatorward. As a quality and accuracy indicator, the mean distance of all contributing GLAS surface spot data to the grid cell center was recorded in a separate identical grid for each ice sheet. These mean distance files are provided with the elevation data.
Data Set Progress
Data Center
NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center Supplemental Info
Data Center URL:

Data Center Personnel
Phone: +1 (303) 492-6199
Fax: +1 (303) 492-2468
Email: nsidc at
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA
Distribution Media: FTP
Distribution Size: 414 MB
Distribution Format: Binary
Phone: 301-614-5893
Email: john.dimarzio at
Contact Address:
SGT, Inc.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Cryospheric Sciences Branch Code 614.1
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA
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Abshire, J., and 8 others. 2005. Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on the ICESat mission: on-orbit measurement performance. Geophysical Research Letters v. 32, L21S02, doi:10.1029/2005GL1024028. Brenner, A., and 11 others. 2003. Derivation of range and range distributions from laser pulse waveform analysis for surface elevations, roughness, slope, and vegetations heights, Algorithm ... View entire text
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2007-06-21
Last DIF Revision Date: 2016-11-18

Link to NASA website
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