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This data set contains Greenland and Antarctic gravity measurements taken from the Sander Geophysics Airborne Inertially Referenced Gravimeter (AIRGrav) system. The data were collected as part of NASA Operation IceBridge funded campaigns.
Operation IceBridge products may include test flight data that are not useful for research and scientific analysis. Test flights usually occur at the beginning of campaigns. Users should read flight reports for the flights that collected any of the data they intend to use. Check IceBridge campaign Flight Reports for dates and information about test flights.
We kindly request that you cite the use of this data set in a publication using the following citation example. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.
Cochran, James R., and Robin E. Bell. 2010, updated 2014. IceBridge Sander AIRGrav L1B Geolocated Free Air Gravity Anomalies, [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA: NASA DAAC at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://nsidc.org/data/iggrv1b.html.
Sander Geophysics Airborne Inertially Referenced Gravimeter (AIRGrav)
Greenland and Antarctica
5 to 7 kilometers
16 October 2009 to the present
Space-delimited ASCII text files (.txt)
See the Version History section of this document for previous version information.
James R. Cochran, Robin E. Bell
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades, New York 10964-8000 USA
NSIDC User Services
National Snow and Ice Data Center
CIRES, 449 UCB
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0449 USA
phone: +1 303.492.6199
fax: +1 303.492.2468
form: Contact NSIDC User Services
Data collection was supported by NASA grants NNX09AR49G, NNG10HP20C, and NNX10AT69G. We thank Stefen Elieff, Kevin James, Sean O'Rourke and Eric Renaud from Sander Geophysics; and Kirsteen Tinto, Indrani Das and Timothy Creyts from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who participated in data collection.
The AIRGrav data contain gravity measurements including acceleration data in three orthogonal directions. Gravity data include latitude and Eotvos corrected values, and the free air correction at various along-flight-line time filtering scales.
Each data file is in space-delimited ASCII text format with an associated XML file. The XML files contain file creation, point latitudes and longitudes, and campaign metadata.
Data files are available on the ftp://n5eil01u.ecs.nsidc.org FTP site in the /SAN2/ICEBRIDGE/IGGRV1B.001/ directory. Files are organized into folders by year, month, and day, for example: /2013.11.27/.
Gravity data files are named using the conventions shown below. File name variables are described in Table 1:
|IGGRV1B||Short name for IceBridge Sander AIRGrav L1B Geolocated Free Air Gravity Anomalies|
|NNNNNNNN||Seconds of day|
|VXXX||Mission data version|
|.xxx||Indicates file type ASCII text (.txt) or XML file (.xml)|
Data files range from approximately 5 MB to 23 MB.
XML files range from approximately 4 KB to 235 KB.
The entire data set is approximately 3.3 GB.
Spatial coverage for the IceBridge Sander AIRGrav Level-1B Geolocated Free Air Gravity Anomalies campaigns include the Greenland and Antarctic areas. In effect, this represents the two coverages noted below.
Arctic / Greenland:
Southernmost Latitude: 60° N
Northernmost Latitude: 90° N
Westernmost Longitude: 180° W
Easternmost Longitude: 180° E
Southernmost Latitude: 90° S
Northernmost Latitude: 53° S
Westernmost Longitude: 180° W
Easternmost Longitude: 180° E
Spatial resolution depends on the airplane speed and the length of the filter. This is typically 5 to 7 km, or aircraft speed * 70 to 140 seconds. Narrow features can be detected, but generally with reduced amplitude.
Projection: Polar Stereographic.
Grid: 5 to 7 km spatial grid depending on data line spacing.
16 October 2009 to the present.
IceBridge campaigns are conducted on an annual repeating basis. Arctic and Greenland campaigns are conducted during March, April, and May; and Antarctic campaigns are conducted during October and November.
The IceBridge Sander AIRGrav Level-1B Geolocated Free Air Gravity Anomalies data set contains gravity measurements. Gravity data are measured as accelerations along three orthogonal axes, and are reduced to free Air Gravity anomaly values by removing the accelerations due to aircraft motion.
Format is 19 columns separated by spaces. Columns are shown in Table 2.:
|1||LAT||F15.7||Degrees||Latitude decimal degrees WGS-84|
|2||LONG||F15.7||Degrees||Longitude decimal degrees WGS-84|
|4||DOY||I6||N/A||Day of year|
|5||TIME||F11.2||Seconds||UTC seconds past midnight (continous, does not roll over)|
|7||FIDUCIAL||F11.2||Seconds||UTC seconds past midnight (continuous)|
|8||PSX||F15.2||Meters||EPSG:3031 WGS-84 Antarctic Polar Stereographic X|
|9||PSY||F15.2||Meters||EPSG:3031 WGS-84 Antarctic Polar Stereographic X|
|10||WGSHGT||F11.2||Meters||Height WGS-84 (height above GRS80 ellipsoid)|
|11||FX||F15.2||mGal||Gravimeter X acceleration|
|12||FY||F15.2||mGal||Gravimeter Y acceleration|
|13||FZ||F15.2||mGal||Gravimeter Z acceleration|
|14||EOTGRAV||F15.2||mGal||Eotvos and latitude corrected gravity, unfiltered|
|15||FACOR||F11.2||mGal||Free air correction|
|16||INTCOR||F11.2||mGal||Intersection levelling correction|
|17||FAG070||F11.2||mGal||Free Air Gravity, 70s full wavelength line filter|
|18||FAG100||F11.2||mGal||Free Air Gravity, 100s full wavelength line filter|
|19||FAG140||F11.2||mGal||Free Air Gravity, 140s full wavelength line filter|
|20||FLTENVIRO||I11||N/A||-1 = no data, 0 normal conditions, 1 = disturbed conditions|
Line Filter Parameters:70s full wavelength line filter
100s full wavelength line filter
140s full wavelength line filter
The flight environment indicates data availability. At present, it is a
simple flag based on aircraft flight dynamics.
All positions are corrected to the centre of the gravimeter. They are NOT at the GPS antenna locations. Positions are post-processed differentially corrected GPS, matched to gravimeter system time.
Data are available via FTP.
The data files also may be opened by any ASCII text reader.
NSIDC provides MATLAB readers that read IGGRV1B aircraft gravity data files.
The gravimeter is located as near the airplane center of mass as possible. Simultaneously acquired gravimeter output GPS data are recorded on hard disks on the plane. Following the flight this data is downloaded onto a PC for processing.
The gravity signal is extracted from an inertially based system in which a small mass is suspended within a magnetic field. Tiny variations in the acceleration of the gravimeter produce small electrical signals in the sensor as the mass moves within the magnetic field.
A routine that examined horizontal acceleration was used to determine where lines began and ended for the purposes of gravity data, since gravity data is perturbed by strong maneuvering. The line numbering convention used is 1FFF.XX where FFF = flight number and XX = extension number. Each new line in a flight is denoted by an increment in the extension number. For example, 1017.04 is the 4th line detected in flight 17. In some cases lines were included even though they exceeded the horizontal acceleration limits. These lines have extension numbers greater than 50. For example, 1017.52 is the 2nd line in flight 17 that was retained despite the aircraft maneuvering during the line. The accuracy of data on these lines may be reduced, but they are retained to provide coverage in areas where no other gravity data exists.
The FAG140 free Air Gravity 140s full wavelength line filter contains data sampled from a filtered grid. The degree of filtering was chosen to suit the area in question. This represents the best gravity data, as grid filtering can lower noise levels by averaging across adjacent lines if the lines are spaced tightly enough. It also produces a consistent data set by averaging together line crossings.
|Coats / Filchner||7000 m half-wavelength spatial filter|
|Pine Island / Thwaites||6000 m half-wavelength spatial filter|
|Abbott||7000 m half-wavelength spatial filter|
|Larson||7000 m half-wavelength spatial filter|
|Pine Island (high altitude)||7000 m half-wavelength spatial filter|
|Peninsula (high altitude)||5000 m half-wavelength spatial filter|
Line filter parameters for 2009-12 Antarctica data are as follows:
Line filter parameters for 2010-12 Greenland data are as follows:
The following processing steps are performed by the data provider.
Version 01.1 data for 2010 Greenland: All of the 2010 Greenland data for the IceBridge Sander AIRGrav L1B Geolocated Free Air Gravity Anomalies data set were replaced 01 October 2010. The data were all correct, however, the transformation to the Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research (SCAR) Polar Stereographic projection was in error. This has been corrected with the Version 01.1 data.
Version 01.2 data for 2009 Antarctica: All of the 2009 Antarctica data for the IceBridge Sander AIRGrav L1B Geolocated Free Air Gravity Anomalies data set were replaced 27 June 2011. The previous version of the data required re-processing because an error was discovered in the aircraft attitude data files that caused everything for the 2009 Antarctica flights to be rotated 180 degrees. Additionally, after 2009, gravity data processing was changed from a simple free air correction formula to a second order free air correction. Also, since 2009 there have been processing improvements that reduce noise levels, especially at shorter wavelengths (70s) on some lines. The 2009 Antarctica data files have been re-processed for second order free air correction and reduction of noise levels. These changes have been made with the Version 01.2 data.
Version 01.3 data for 2009 and 2010 Antarctica: On 21 May 2012, the 2009 and 2010 Antarctica data were replaced by V01.3. The previous data versions were organized regionally by glacier basin. V01.3 gravity data are organized by flight lines.
Version 01.4 data for 2010 and 2011 Greenland: On 26 November 2012, the 2010 and 2011 Greenland data were replaced by Version 01.4. The V01.4 data are arranged by flight, rather than broken into lines grouped by area. The last field in the data files is now a data quality flag, instead of a gridded value. Aircraft attitude data are no longer included.
Version 01.5 data for 2009, 2010, and 2011 Antarctica: On 28 February 2013, the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Antarctica data were replaced by Version 01.5. The V01.5 data are arranged by flight, rather than broken into lines grouped by area. The file naming convention has changed. As it is not used, the "grid" column has been removed from the data files. The data have been re-leveled. In a few places the data values may be slightly different than in older versions. The leveling adjustments are very small, approximately 0.1 to 0.3 mGal, and are present only for new lines during 2012 in an area where only a few lines were flown, such as the Foundation/Recovery area. The leveling adjustment is given in data column 18. It is constant offset for a particular track line and thus does not affect interpretation. This is not common and the adjustments are very small and thus do not affect interpretation. The replacement 2010 Antarctica data contain one less data file than the previous version. The file, IGGRV1B_V01_20101018.xyz, was a transit flight where the meter was being tested, and was removed because it does not apply to Antarctica.
Version 01.6 data for 2010, 2011, and 2012 Greenland: On August 20, 2013, the IGGRV1B Greenland data files were replaced for the dates: 05 May 2010 through 28 May 2010, 14 March 2011 through 16 May 2011, and 12 March 2012 through 17 May 2012. For the data captured on these days, the platformID is changed from DC-8 to P-3B.
Version 01.7 data: On June 10, 2014, all IGGRV1B Greenland and Antarctica data files from 16 October 2009 to 07 November 2012 were replaced. The file format was changed to adhere to the NASA ASCII text standard. There was no change in processing or data values.
The gravity instrument is a Sander AIRGrav designed for airborne applications. The AIRGrav system consists of a three-axis gyro-stabilized, Schuler-tuned inertial platform on which three orthogonal accelerometers are mounted. The primary gravity sensor is the vertical accelerometer that is held within 10 arc-seconds (0.0028 degree) of the local vertical by the inertial platform, monitored through the complex interaction of gyroscopes and two horizontal accelerometers (Sander et al. 2004). An advantage of the AIRGrav system over other airborne gravimeters is that it has been shown to be capable of collecting high-quality data during draped flights (Studinger et al. 2008). The gravimeter records accelerations arising from variations in the Earth's gravity field and accelerations experienced by the airplane. These accelerations are recorded at 128 Hz. Aircraft accelerations are obtained utilizing differential GPS measurements. Gravity Data rate is 2 Hz.
Sander, S., M. Argyle, S. Elieff, S. Ferguson, V. Lavoie, and L. Sander. 2004. The AIRGrav airborne gravity system, in Airborne Gravity 2004 - Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists Workshop, edited by R. Lane, pp. 49-53, Geoscience Australia, http://www.ga.gov.au/image_cache/GA16642.pdf.
Studinger, M., R. E. Bell, and N. Frearson. 2008. Comparison of AIRGrav and GT-1A airborne gravimeters for research applications, Geophysics, 73: 151-161.
IceBridge Data Web site at NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge/index.html).
IceBridge Web site at NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/icebridge/index.html).
ICESat/GLAS Web site at NASA Wallops Flight Facility (http://glas.wff.nasa.gov/).
ICESat/GLAS Web site at NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/daac/projects/lidar/glas.html).
Improving GLAS data using GRACE (http://nsidc.org/data/icesat/grace.html).
The acronyms used in this document are listed in Table 4.
|AIRGrav||Airborne Inertially Referenced Gravimeter|
|ASCII||American Standard Code for Information Interchange|
|CIRES||Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science|
|FTP||File Transfer Protocol|
|L1B||Processing Level 1B|
|NASA||National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|NSIDC||National Snow and Ice Data Center|
|PEN-LVIS||High altitude flight over the Antarctic Peninsula|
|PIG||Pine Island Glacier|
|PIG-LVIS||High altitude flight over Pine Island Glacier|
|SCAR||Scientific Committee of Antarctic Research|
|URL||Uniform Resource Locator|
|UTC||Universal Time Code|
|WGS-84||World Geodetic System 1984|
16 March 2011
05 October 2011
23 May 2012
16 August 2012
27 November 2012
28 February 2013
14 June 2013
10 June 2014