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Data Set ID:

Greenland 5 km DEM, Ice Thickness, and Bedrock Elevation Grids, Version 1

A Digital Elevation Model (DEM), ice thickness grid, and bedrock elevation grid of Greenland acquired as part of the PARCA program are available in ASCII text format at a 5 km grid spacing in a polar stereographic projection. DEM data are a combination of ERS-1 and Geosat satellite radar altimetry data, Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) data, and photogrammetric digital height data. Ice thickness data are based on approximately 700,000 data points collected in the 1990s from a University of Kansas airborne ice penetrating radar (IPR). Nearly 30,000 data points were collected in the 1970s from a Technical University of Denmark (TUD) airborne echo sounder. Bamber subtracted the ice thickness grid from the DEM to produce a grid of bedrock elevation values. Applications include studies of gravitational driving stress and ice volume (mass balance) of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Each of the three grids is approximately 1.5 MB. Data are available via FTP. Data access is unrestricted, but we recommend that users register with us. Registered users automatically receive e-mail notification of product updates and changes to processing.

Geographic Coverage

  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Elevation/Ice Sheet Elevation
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Thickness/Ice Sheet Thickness
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Topography/Ice Sheet Topography
  • Snow/Ice > Ice Depth/Thickness
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets
  • Topography > Landforms
  • Topography > Topographical Relief
  • Topography > Topographic Effects
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 84, S: 60, E: -15, W: -72

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1993 to 31 December 1999
  • 1 January 1970 to 1 December 1970
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Data Format(s):
  • ASCII Text
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Jonathan Bamber
Data Citation

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.

Bamber, J. 2001. Greenland 5 km DEM, Ice Thickness, and Bedrock Elevation Grids, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: [Date Accessed].
No technical references available for this data set.


Is the Greenland Surface DEM provided in an alternative format?
Yes. Attached to this article are the following Greenland Surface DEM data files: A little-endian flat-binary file (bambgrl_dem_5km.img) and its associated ENVI header file (bambgrl_dem_5km.img.hdr). A GeoTIFF file (bambgrl_dem_5km.tif).

How To

How to import the Greenland DEM into ArcGIS
Directions for Importing Bamber Greenland DEM, Ice Thickness, and Bedrock Thickness into ArcGIS 9.2 1. Download the ASCII files for Bamber Greenland Ice Thickness (this same methodology applies for bedrock thickness and surface thickness (DEM)). 2. Open up the downloaded ASCII file and attach the... read more
How do I read the Greenland DEM in Fortran?
Directions for reading the Bamber Greenland DEM, Ice Thickness, and Bedrock Thickness in Fortran Relevant data files include:         Bamber Greenland DEM, Ice Thickness, or Bedrock Elevation         Latitude and Longitude ASCII text files 1.  Write each array (i.e. lat, lon, dem) as having... read more