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GIS Data and Resources at NSIDC

Snow, Ice, and Frozen Ground GIS Data Sets from NSIDC

NSIDC distributes many data sets that incorporate spatial data. This site describes a sample of products that are directly compatible with and easily imported into GIS software, in formats such as Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Shapefiles, ArcInfo coverages and export files, and binary grids.

Please fill out our feedback form to tell us what type of GIS data would be helpful in your research, which geographic regions you are interested in, and how we can improve this site.

Featured Products
Antarctica
Arctic
Canada
China
Russia
Alaska: State of
Alaska: North Slope
Alaska: Kuparuk River Basin
Alaska: Point Barrow
Canada: Mackenzie Region
Russia: Usa River Basin

Featured NSIDC GIS Products

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Sea Ice Index

The images in the Sea Ice Index data set depict average ice conditions, estimated using satellite passive microwave data for the most recent month available, as well as snapshots of trends and anomalies that compare these recent conditions with the mean for the month. Monthly sea ice extent shapefiles are available for Northern and Southern hemispheres, both polygons and polylines, 1978 to 2007. Monthly median shapefiles, indicating a month's median for the period 1979 to 2000, are available for Northern and Southern hemispheres, polylines only. Shapefiles can be accessed via FTP.

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Atlas of the Cryosphere

The Atlas of the Cryosphere is a dynamic mapping Web site that allows the visitor to view dynamic maps of snow, sea ice, glaciers, ice sheets, permafrost, and more. Maps and data sources contained in the Atlas of the Cryosphere are also accessible via the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Web Coverage Service (WCS).

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National Ice Center Charts and Climatologies in Gridded Format

This data set is an Arctic sea ice concentration climatology derived from the National Ice Center weekly or biweekly operational ice chart time series from 1972 through 2004. The monthly climatology products are median, maximum, minimum, first quartile, and third quartile concentrations, as well as frequency of occurrence of ice at any concentration for 33 year, 10 year, and 5 year periods. Some of the climatologies are available in GIS format.

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March through August Ice Edge Positions in the Nordic Seas, 1750-2002

This product contains ice edge coordinates for the Nordic Seas from 1750 through 2002 for months March through August. Ice edge in this product is defined as the outer boundary of ice having at least 30% ice concentration. The sea ice data from 1750-1966 are distributed as shapefiles, with polylines depicting the sea ice edge. The data from 1967-1978 use polygons to denote the different classifications of ice concentration. Shapefiles are available via FTP.


Antarctica

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Sea Ice Trends and Climatologies from SMMR and SSM/I: GIS Sea Ice Maps

Data model: Raster and Derived Vector
Resolution: 25 km

Monthly mean ice concentration data for the Arctic and Antarctic are provided in ArcInfo interchange file format, from January through September (1979 through 2002) and October through December (1978 through 2002). Users can either work with these readily available data or create custom grids of daily and monthly data with varying ice concentration thresholds, displayed as polygon coverages in a GIS.




Arctic

Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map

Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map

Data model: Vector
Scale: 1:4,000,000

The Frozen Ground Data Center at NSIDC does not archive this data set. Please contact the investigator or data compiler to acquire these data.



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Circum-Arctic Map of Permafrost and Ground-Ice Conditions

Data model: Vector and derived raster
Scale: 1:10,000,000

This product contains binary raster grids at 12.5 km, 25 km, and 0.5° resolution that show discontinuous, sporadic, or isolated permafrost boundaries, and permafrost extent. Using the included projection information, users can easily import the binary grids into ArcInfo and overlay the vector-based permafrost legends, which are provided in ESRI Shapefile format.



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March through August Ice Edge Positions in the Nordic Seas, 1750-2002

This product contains ice edge coordinates for the Nordic Seas from 1750 through 2002 for months March through August. Ice edge in this product is defined as the outer boundary of ice having at least 30% ice concentration. The sea ice data from the original ACSYS archive from 1750-1966 are distributed as shapefiles, with polylines depicting the sea ice extent. The data from 1967-1978 use polygons to denote the different classifications of ice concentration.



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National Ice Center Charts and Climatologies in Gridded Format

Data model:
Scale:

This data set is an Arctic sea ice concentration climatology derived from the National Ice Center weekly or biweekly operational ice chart time series from 1972 through 2004. The monthly climatology products are median, maximum, minimum, first quartile, and third quartile concentrations, as well as frequency of occurrence of ice at any concentration for 33 year, 10 year, and 5 year periods. The climatologies are available in multiple formats, including a Geographical Information System (GIS) compatible format.



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Northern Circumpolar Soils Map

Data model: Vector
Scale: 1:10,000,000

This data set consists of a circumpolar map of dominant soil characteristics, with a scale of 1:10,000,000, covering the United States, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, northern Europe, Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. The map was created using the Northern and Mid Latitude Soil Database. The map is in ESRI Shapefile format, consisting of 11 regional areas. Polygons have attributes that give the percentage polygon area that is a given soil type. The map shows the dominant soil of the spatial polygon unless the polygon is over 90 percent rock or ice. It also shows the proportion of polygon encompassed by the dominant soil or nonsoil.



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Sea Ice Trends and Climatologies from SMMR and SSM/I

Data model: Raster and derived vector
Resolution: 25 km

Monthly mean ice concentration data for the Arctic and Antarctic are provided in ArcInfo interchange file format, from January through September (1979 through 2002) and October through December (1978 through 2002). Users can either work with these readily available data or create custom grids of daily and monthly data with varying ice concentration thresholds, displayed as polygon coverages in a GIS.




Canada

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Permafrost Map of Canada

Data model: Vector

The Permafrost Map of Canada depicts the distribution, characteristics, and boundaries of permafrost and ground ice in Canada. Permafrost classification is based on the proportion of land that is underlain by permafrost within a given area. Canada was divided into physiographic units, and each unit was classified in terms of permafrost extent and ground ice content. The map shows mountain permafrost as sporadic or isolated discontinuous permafrost, rather than as a separate category.




China

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Maps of Geocryological Regions and Classifications in China

Data model: Vector and derived raster
Scale: 1:10,000,000

The maps delineate three major geographic areas divided into regions and subregions based on geographic and climatic conditions affecting the formation and spatial variability of permafrost and frozen ground. The maps also illustrate eight land classifications based on permafrost coverage and seasonal frozen ground depth. Station data include some information on air temperature, active layer thaw depth, and seasonal frozen ground depth.




Russia

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West Siberian Lowland Peatland GIS Data

Data model: Vector
Scale: 1:1,000,000 and 1:2,500,000

The collection covers the entire West Siberian lowland. Detailed physical characteristics of 9,691 individual peatlands (patches) were obtained from previously unpublished Russian field and ancillary map data, previously published depth measurements, and field depth and core measurements taken throughout the region during field campaigns in 1999, 2000, and 2001. The data collection features eight layers containing the detailed peatland inventory, political, and hydrographic information. Point data consist of field and laboratory measurements of peat depth, ash content, and bulk density.



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Land Resources of Russia -- Maps of Permafrost and Ground Ice

Data model: Vector
Scale: 1:20,000,000 to 1:40,000,000

This data set includes maps of permafrost extent, permafrost temperature, permafrost boundary, and ground ice thickness for all of Russia. The maps are ESRI Shapefiles, which were digitized from paper maps taken from the World Atlas of Snow and Ice Resources, 1997, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. The scale of the source maps ranges from 1:20,000,000 to 1:40,000,000. Polygons were assigned attributes based on the classes used in the legends of the paper map.



Soil Map of Russia

Land Resources of Russia -- Maps of Soil Characteristics

Data model: Vector
Resolution: 1:2,500,000

This data set consists of maps of various soil characteristics for all of Russia. The maps are available as ESRI Shapefiles and they are accompanied by databases of soil profiles and related characteristics. The soil classification Shapefile was generalized from the standard 1:2,500,000 soil map of Russia (Fridland, 1988). Several different soil classifications and characteristics are presented. Additionally, investigators compiled two databases (.dbf files) of detailed soil characteristics from 234 measured soil profiles. These data were extracted from a larger collection entitled, Land Resources of Russia.



Landscape Map of the Russian Arctic Coastal Zone

Landscape Map of the Russian Arctic Coastal Zone

Data model: Vector
Resolution: 1:4,000,000

The map consists of ESRI Shapefiles of landscape polygons (in landscape unit types) for the Russian Arctic coastal zone (scale 1:4,000,000). The map is based on a digital circumpolar Lambert projection map. Polygons have a single attribute (LAND-ID), whose code is described in detail in an accompanying legend.



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Map of Natural (Landscape) and Permafrost Zones and the Net of Soil Temperature Meteorological Stations in Russia and Middle Asian Mountains

Data model: Vector
Scale: 1:4,000,000

This data set is a vector coverage of the Map of Natural Landscape and Permafrost Zones and the Net of Soil Temperature Meteorological Stations in Russia and Middle Asian Mountains. The map shows six parameters: zonal, subzonal and altitud-zoned types and sub-types of landscapes; extent of permafrost (percent of area); seasonal frozen ground; ice caps and glaciers; boundaries; locations of meteorological stations and station numbers.




Local: USA, Alaska, State of

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Permafrost Map of Alaska, USA

Data model: Vector
Scale: 1:2,500,000

This data set consists of a georeferenced digital map and attribute data derived from the publication, "Permafrost map of Alaska." The map shows the correlation of physiographic province to presence of permafrost across the state of Alaska.




Local: USA, Alaska, North Slope

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Land-Cover Map of the North Slope of Alaska

Data model: Raster
Resolution: 100 m

This ArcInfo map provides a spatially explicit representation of the nature and distribution of land cover and tundra types on the North Slope of Alaska. This was done in support of extrapolating ecosystem models developed in the Kuparuk to the North Slope.




Local: USA, Alaska, Kuparuk River Basin

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GIS Data from the Alaska North Slope

Scale: Multiple (1:250,000; 1:6,000; 1:1,000; 1:500)
Data model: Vector maps (large-scale); raster (small-scale)

This data set includes ArcInfo maps of the Kuparuk River Basin Region of the Alaskan North Slope ( 1:250,000 scale) and five subset study areas: the Upper Kuparuk River Basin Subregion (1:25,000), the Imnavait Creek Landscape (1:6,000), the Toolik Lake Landscape (1:5,000), the Imnavait Creek Grid (1:500), and the Toolik Lake Grid (1:500). Land cover (satellite-derived) and elevation data (USGS DEM-derived) are provided for the Kuparuk River Basin Region. For the five subset areas, an integrated terrain unit mapping (ITUM) approach simultaneously mapped vegetation and other terrain features as interpreted in the field from a common aerial-photograph base. The result is a single ITUM map for each area, including vegetation, geomorphology, glacial geology, and many other features. Various supplemental maps (e.g., hydrologic features and roads) for each of the areas are available for use as overlays.



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Glacial Geology Map of the Toolik Lake and Upper Kuparuk River Region, Alaska

Scale: 1:25,000
Data model: Vector

This data set consists of a digital glacial geology map of the Toolik and upper Kuparuk River region, Alaska, USA. The map covers a 740 km2 area on Alaska's North Slope, in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range. The map contains polygon and line features, annotation, and legends, and is distributed as an ArcInfo interchange (.e00) file and Shapefiles. The data set describes substrate only and does not include topographic, hydrographic, or cultural features.




Local: USA, Alaska, Point Barrow

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Point Barrow, Alaska and Vicinity Bathymetry

Scale: 1:47,943
Data model: Vector and raster
Resolution: 100 m

This data set contains bathymetry data for the Point Barrow, Alaska vicinity. A bathymetry grid was interpolated from depth soundings measured in meters below mean lower low water (MLLW) and contours that were digitized from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) nautical chart (28 July 1990, 1:47,943-scale, chart #16082). The data set includes the derived bathymetry grid, the depth soundings map, and the contour map.




Local: Canada, Mackenzie Region

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Permafrost Map for Northwestern Canada (Mackenzie Region)

Scale: 1:1,000,000
Data model: Vector

This data set provides information on permafrost distribution and ground ice conditions in the Mackenzie Region of northwestern Canada. The data set comprises three data layers: maps of permafrost zones, rivers, and lakes.




Local: Russia, Usa River Basin

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Permafrost of the Usa River Basin

Data model: Vector

The map consists of ESRI Shapefiles of the Usa River basin, Russia, including Lek-Vorkuta and Bolshaya Rogovaya. There are four data layers in the data set: a base map layer, a permafrost layer, and two key (permafrost) areas. Each data layer comprises several sublayers. The map is based on a UTM 41 projection with the WGS 1984 spheroid. Parameters include permafrost temperature and degree of continuity; permafrost temperature classes, lithology, and stratigraphy; thermokarst, pingos, mass ground ice, and topography, lakes, large rivers (in streams), rivers, and watershed boundary.

See Also

Polar Ice Sheet DEMS and Topographic Data at NSIDC

Frozen Ground Maps

Russian Soil Temperature Data Access Viewer

Importing SSM/I Daily and Monthly Sea Ice Concentration Data into ArcInfo

Importing SSM/I Monthly Mean Ice Concentration Data into ArcInfo

Importing NSIDC Passive Microwave EASE-Grid Data into ArcInfo

Geolocating EASE-Grid Data in ENVI

Data Analysis & Imaging Tools