Glacier Mass Balance and Regime Measurements and Analysis, 1945-2003


This data set consists of glacier regime parameters observed between 1945 and 2003. Data include annual mass balances, ablation, accumulation, and equilibrium-line altitude of mountain and subpolar glaciers outside the two major ice sheets. All available sources of information, such as publications, archived data, and personal communications have been collected, and include time series of about 280 glaciers. Data have been digitized and quality checked. The data are available on CD-ROM from the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) when a hardcopy of INSTAAR Occasional Paper #55 is ordered, and by FTP from NSIDC.

NSIDC strongly encourages you to register as a user of this data product. As a registered user, you will be notified of updates and corrections. When registering, please include the title of this data set, INSTAAR Occasional Paper #55 Glacier Mass Balance and Regime: Data of Measurements and Analysis.

Citing These Data

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Dyurgerov, M. 2002, updated 2005. Glacier mass balance and regime measurements and analysis, 1945-2003, edited by M. Meier and R. Armstrong. Boulder, CO: Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado. Distributed by National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO.

Overview Table



Data format

Microsoft Excel files, and PDF

Spatial coverage and resolution


Temporal coverage and resolution


File size

largest file is 1.2 MB


mass balance, ablation, accumulation, and equilibrium-line altitude

Metadata access View metadata

Data access


Table of Contents

1. Contacts and Acknowledgments
2. Detailed Data Description
3. Document Information

1.Contacts and Acknowledgments

Investigator(s) Name and Title

Mark Dyurgerov
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309

Technical Contact

NSIDC User Services
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0449  USA
phone: +1 303.492.6199
fax: +1 303.492.2468
form: Contact NSIDC User Services


This study was supported by a State Department Grant to M. Dyurgerov in 1993-94; and NSF Grants OPP-9530782, OPP-9634289 to M. Meier, M. Dyurgerov, R. Armstrong and J. Dwyer in 1996-2000. The final stage of this work has been supported by NSF Grant BCS-0099236. The authors are very thankful to many of their colleagues all over the world for sending additional data, in particular to: L. Andreassen, H. Björnsson, L. Braun, T. Chinn, G.Cogley, H. Conway, A. Fountain, M. Funk, J.-O. Hagen, S. Hastenrath, P. Jansson, V. Konovalov, R. Koerner, R. Krimmel, M. Kuhn, V. Kuzmichenok, A. Marcus, R. Martines Costa, M. Miller, Yu. Narozhniy, G. Østrem, M. Pelto, F. Pertziger, V. Popovnin, L. A. Rasmussen, O. Reinwarth, O. Sigurdsson, V. Uvarov, and Zichu Xie. The investigator thanks Carissa Carter for assistance in preparation of the final version for publication and also wishes to thank Graham Cogley, Simon Ommanney, Bruce Raup and Mary Jo Brodzik for their comments and data verification.

2. Detailed Data Description


Data are in Microsoft Excel format, and also provided in PDF

File and Directory Structure

The following files are found on the FTP site:



An explanation of the appendix data is included in the pdf file, beginning on p. 91.

File Size

Largest file is 1.2 MB.

Spatial Coverage

Coverage is worldwide.

Temporal Coverage

Observational data cover the period 1945 to 2003.

Parameter or Variable

Parameter Description

Mass balance, ablation, accumulation, and equilibrium-line altitude of 280 glaciers are given, based on observational studies reported in publications, archived data, personal communications..

Quality Assessment

Data have been digitized and quality checked; all errors found were eliminated.

3. Document Information

Document Creation Date

March 2002

Document Revision Date

April 2005

Document URL