Data Set ID:

GLAS/ICESat 1 km Laser Altimetry Digital Elevation Model of Greenland, Version 1

The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument on the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) provides global measurements of elevation, and repeats measurements along nearly-identical tracks; its primary mission is to measure changes in ice volume (mass balance) over time. This digital elevation model (DEM) of Greenland is derived from GLAS/ICESat laser altimetry profile data and provides new surface elevation grids of the ice sheets and coastal areas, with greater latitudinal extent and fewer slope-related effects than radar altimetry.

This DEM is generated from the first seven operational periods (from February 2003 through June 2005) of the GLAS instrument. It is provided on polar stereographic grids at 1 km grid spacing. The grid covers all of Greenland south of 83° N. Elevations are reported as centimeters above the datums, relative to both the WGS 84 ellipsoid and the EGM96 geoid, in two separate elevation data files. A data quality map of the interpolation distance is distributed in addition to the elevation data. ENVI header files are also provided.

The data are in 4-byte (long) signed integer binary files (big endian byte order) and are available via FTP.

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Geographic Coverage

Data Set Tabs

Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 83, S: 60, E: -11, W: -73

Spatial Resolution:
  • 1 km x 1 km
  • 1 km x 1 km
Temporal Coverage
  • 2003-02-01 to 2005-06-30
Temporal Resolution:
29 month
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Elevation/Ice Sheet Elevation
Sensor(s): GLAS
Data Format(s):
  • Binary
Data Contributor(s): John Dimarzio, Anita Brenner, Helen Fricker, Robert Schutz, Christopher Shuman, H. Zwally

Data Citation

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

John P. DiMarzio 2007. GLAS/ICESat 1 km Laser Altimetry Digital Elevation Model of Greenland, Version 1. [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. [Date Accessed].

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