Data Set ID:

Global Lake and River Ice Phenology Database, Version 1

The Global Lake and River Ice Phenology Database contains freeze and thaw/breakup dates as well as other descriptive ice cover data for 865 lakes and rivers in the Northern Hemisphere. Of the 542 water bodies that have records longer than 19 years, 370 of them are in North America and 172 are in Eurasia. 249 lakes and rivers have records longer than 50 years, and 66 have records longer than 100 years. A few water bodies have data available prior to 1845. This database, with water bodies distributed around the Northern Hemisphere, allows for the analysis of broad spatial patterns as well as long-term temporal patterns.

Note: The term phenology in the data set title refers to the seasonal phenomenon of the freezing and thawing of lake and river ice.

Access to the Global Lake and River Ice Phenology Database data set is unrestricted, but users are encouraged to register for the data. Registered users will automatically receive e-mail notification about any product changes.

Notice: 22 September 2015 - The Lake Suwa Japan data with lake code ARAI1 have been temporarily removed from the database due to an error found in the calendar correction for the data. The data providers are wokring on a corection but there is no timeline for completion.

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Geographic Coverage

Data Set Tabs

Temporal Coverage:
  • 0874-01-01 to 2009-12-31
(updated 2012)
Temporal Resolution:
Not specified
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 82.5, S: 36.5, E: 149.3, W: -140.4

Spatial Resolution:
Not Specified
  • Snow/Ice > Freeze/Thaw > Freeze Date
  • Breakup Date
  • Ice Duration
  • Snow/Ice > Freeze/Thaw
  • Snow/Ice > Lake Ice
  • Snow/Ice > River Ice
Data Format(s):
  • ASCII Text (.txt)
Data Contributor(s): Barbara Benson, John Magnuson, Florence Fetterer
(updated 2012)

We kindly request that you cite the use of this data set in a publication using the following citation. For more information, see Use and Copyright.

Benson, B. and J. Magnuson. 2000, updated 2012. Global Lake and River Ice Phenology Database, Version 1. [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Questions? Please contact:

NSIDC User Services
Phone: 1 303 492-6199
Fax: 1 303 492-2468
Contact Address:
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA