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Data Set ID:
NSIDC-0709

MEaSUREs Antarctic Boundaries for IPY 2007-2009 from Satellite Radar, Version 2

This data set is part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, and provides maps of Antarctic ice shelves, the Antarctic coastline and Antarctic basins. The maps are assembled from 2008-2009 ice-front data from ALOS PALSAR and ENVISAT ASAR data acquired during International Polar Year, 2007-2009 (IPY), the InSAR-based grounding line data (MEaSUREs Antarctic Grounding Line from Differential Satellite Radar Interferometry), augmented with other grounding line sources, the Antarctic ice velocity map (MEaSUREs InSAR-Based Antarctica Ice Velocity Map), and the Bedmap-2 DEM.

Version Summary:

Major changes for Version 2 include:

  • Added the basins (IMBIE 2016 and refined)
  • Updated and expanded the attribute lists

Minor changes include:

  • Changed grounding lines for Crosson/Dotson ice shelves based on Sentinel-1A
  • Added 15 new small ice shelves
  • Added missing ice rises on Larsen-C, Riiser-Larsen, Quar, Atka, Fimbul, Crosson, Borchgrevink, Beaudouin, and Pine Island ice shelves
  • Fixed an issue with Wordie ice shelf boundaries (Cape Jeremy basin)
  • Fixed an issue with Larsen A ice shelf, Drygalski glacier
  • Fixed small gaps between polygons
  • Updated names of the ice shelves (each polygon has a specific name)
  • Removed grounded polygon from IceBoundaries (provided by GroundingLine_Antarctica shapefile)

Geographic Coverage

Parameter(s):
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > Basin
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > Grounding Line
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > Ice Front
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets > Ice Shelf
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: -60, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180

Spatial Resolution:
  • 25 m to 250 m
Temporal Coverage:
  • 7 February 1992 to 17 December 2014
Temporal Resolution: 22 year
Data Format(s):
  • ESRI Shapefile
  • GeoTIFF
  • Bitmap (.bmp)
Platform(s) ALOS, AQUA, COSMO-SKYMED, ENVISAT, ERS-1, ERS-2, LANDSAT-8, RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2, SENTINEL-1A, TERRA
Sensor(s): ASAR, MODIS, OLI, PALSAR, SAR
Version: V2
Data Contributor(s): Jeremie Mouginot, Bernd Scheuchl, Eric Rignot
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.

Mouginot, J., B. Scheuchl, and E. Rignot. 2017. MEaSUREs Antarctic Boundaries for IPY 2007-2009 from Satellite Radar, Version 2. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5067/AXE4121732AD. [Date Accessed].

Literature Citation

As a condition of using these data, we request that you acknowledge the author(s) of this data set by referencing the following peer-reviewed publication.

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Detailed Data Description

The Antarctic maps in this data set include:

  • Antarctic ice shelves
  • Antarctic coastline
  • Antarctic basin map as defined for the Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) 2016
  • Refined Antarctic basin map that is consistent with the IMBIE 2016 basin map but provides more detailed basins
Format

This data set consists of four ESRI shapefiles and a raster mask provided in GeoTIFF (.tif) and bitmap (.bmp) formats.

The ESRI shapefiles consist of five file types:

  • .shp – main file that stores the feature geometry
  • .shx – index file that stores the index of the feature geometry
  • .dbf – dBASE table that stores the attribute information of features
  • .prj – file that stores the coordinate system information
  • .cpg – optional file that specifies the code page for identifying the character set to be used

The raster image is a 500 m resolution mask of Antarctica created from the boundaries: grounding line, coastline, and ice shelves described in the shapefiles.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available via HTTPS.

This directory contains the following folders:

Folder Name Description
Table 1. Top-Level HTTPS Directory Structure
IceBoundaries_Antarctica merged shapefile product that represents the coastline, floating glacial ice (ice shelves and ice tongues), grounded ice, IMBIE 2016 basins, as well as refined basins
IceShelf_Antarctica floating glacial ice (ice shelves and ice tongues) boundaries shapefile
Coastline_Antarctica coastline shapefile (all features in IceBoundaries_Antarctica merged together)
GroundingLine_Antarctica grounded ice (grounding line) shapefile (all grounded features merged together)
Basins_IMBIE_Antarctica Basins as prepared for the Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) 2016
Basins_Antarctica Refined basins from IMBIE
Mask_Antarctica GeoTIFF and bitmap files containing the ice shelf mask

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File Naming Convention

This section describes the file naming convention for this data set (Table 2).

Example:
IceShelf_Antarctica_v2.shp
IceShelf_Antarctica_v2.cpg
IceShelf_Antarctica_v2.dbf
IceShelf_Antarctica_v2.prj
IceShelf_Antarctica_v2.shx

Naming Convention: XXXXXXXXXX_Antarctica_v2.ext

Variables Description
Table 2. Naming Convention
XXXXXXXXXX Type of data:
CoastLine
GroundingLine
IceBoundries
IceShelf
Mask
Antarctica Geographic location
v2 Version 2
.ext File type:
.cpg
.dbf
.prj
.shp
.shx
.tif
.bmp
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File Size

The shapefiles in this data set range from approximately 0.1 KB to 2,081 KB. The GeoTIFF (.tif) raster mask is 2.1 MB, and the bitmap (.bmp) raster mask is 119.7 MB.

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Volume

Total volume of the data set is approximately 138 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

The data provide an outline for 1,553,978 km2 of Antarctic Ice Shelves (floating glacier ice) or 99.52 percent of the total ice shelf area for Antarctica (Rignot et al. 2013).

Southernmost Latitude: 90° S
Northernmost Latitude: 60° S
Westernmost Longitude: 180° W
Easternmost Longitude: 180° E

Spatial Coverage Maps

Figure 1 provides an overview of the information contained in this product and available in full in the file IceBoundaries_Antarctica_v2.shp. Partial information is available in separate shapefiles (Figure 2 a-e) and a raster mask (Figure 2f). See Table 4 for a more detailed description.

Figure 1. Antarctic Boundaries V2.shp overview. The shapefile includes the coastline, the grounding line, an ice shelf mask (striped), as well as IMBIE and refined basins. Also provided is a regional separation in East Antarctica (red lines), West Antarctica (green lines), and the Antarctic Peninsula (dark blue lines).
Figure 2. Shapefile Spatial Coverage Maps (a-e) and GeoTIFF raster map (f). Each file is available separately, the full information content is provided in the file IceBoundaries_Antarctica_v2.shp

Spatial Resolution

Spatial resolution varies for each sensor. See Table 3 for the associated approximate resolutions.

Satellite/Sensor Approximate Resolution
Table 3. Spatial Accuracy of Boundaries by Satellite/Sensor
ERS-1, ERS-2/SAR 50 m
RADARSAT-1/SAR 35 m
RADARSAT-2/SAR 46 m
ALOS/PALSAR 120 m
COSMO-SkyMed/SAR 25 m
Sentinel-1A/SAR 50 m
ENVISAT/ASAR 30 m
LANDSAT-8/OLI 30 m
TERRA/MODIS 250 m
AQUA/MODIS 250 m

Projection and Grid Description

The shapefiles and GeoTIFF file are provided in Polar Stereographic projection ESPG:3031.

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Temporal Coverage

Data for InSAR grounding lines were obtained from multiple satellites between 1992 and 2015, for which the newest grounding line position was used. The data for the coastline mapping were acquired in 2008 and 2009

Temporal Resolution

22 years (264 months)

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Parameter or Variable

The data set is an integrated product that provides detailed mappings of the location of the Antarctic Ice Sheet grounding line, ice shelf pinning points (e.g. nunataks, ice rises, and ice rumples and denoted by the attribute "Islands" in the Ice Boundaries shapefile), the coastline and two versions of basins. This product can be used as a mask to define grounded ice, floating ice and/or the Antarctic coastline. 

The basins provide further information at two levels of detail. Basins_IMBIE_Antarctica_v2 are the basins used for the Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) 2016 (Rignot Basins); whereas, Basins_Antarctica_v2 provides a further refined set of basins that is consistent with Basins_IMBIE_Antarctica_v2. Antarctica is separated into the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), and the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) based on historical definitions plus information from modern-day DEM and ice velocity data. AP is limited by the Ronne Ice Shelf to the east and the George VI Ice Shelf to the west. WAIS and EAIS are divided along the Transantarctic range; WAIS drains into the Ronne Ice Shelf, EAIS drains into the Filchner Ice Shelf. Within these three ice sheet regions, subregions A, B, C, Cp, etc. are defined based on historical nomenclature (Giovinetto and Zwally, 2000) plus modern DEM and ice velocity data, and adjusted to match the drainage boundaries of the major ice shelves.

The primary attributes for each shapefile are listed below in Table 4.

The file IceBoundaries_Antarctica contains all information in a single file (i.e. all layers merged). Separate files are provided for those interested in a subset of the information.

    File Name Data Field Description
    Table 4. Primary Data Attributes for Shapefiles
    Coastline_Antarctica_v2 Name Coastline
    GroundingLine_Antarctica_v2 Name Grounded
    Type Grounded ice (GR), floating ice (FL), and islands (IS)
    IceShelf_Antarctica_v2 Name Names for Antarctic floating glacial ice (ice shelves and ice tongues)
    Regions Regions refers to the separation in East Antarctica (East), West Antarctica (West) and the Antarctic Peninsula (Peninsula).
    Type Type refers to grounded ice (GR), floating ice (FL), and islands (IS).
    Basins_IMBIE_Antarctica_v2 Name

    Name of the basin (based on historical nomenclature, see subregion) as used by IMBIE 2016 (Rignot Basins)

    Regions Regions refers to the separation in East Antarctica (East), West Antarctica (West) and the Antarctic Peninsula (Peninsula). In addition, the region, Islands, is provided.
    Subregions Subregions are defined based on historical nomenclature (Giovinetto and Zwally, 2000) plus modern DEM and ice velocity data, and adjusted to match the drainage boundaries. Note: Xp (X prime)=X’ ; Xpp(X double prime)=X’’ *
    Type Type refers to grounded ice (GR), floating ice (FL), and islands (IS)
    Basins_Antarctica_v2 Name Name of the basin (based on the glacier, ice stream, ice shelf, or coast)
    Regions Regions refers to the separation in East Antarctica (East), West Antarctica (West) and the Antarctic Peninsula (Peninsula).
    Subregions Subregions are defined based on historical nomenclature (Giovinetto and Zwally, 2000) plus modern DEM and ice velocity data, and adjusted to match the drainage boundaries. Note:  no special characters are possible: *Xp=X’ ; Xpp=X’’
    Type Type refers to grounded ice (GR), floating ice (FL), and islands (IS)
    Asso_Shelf Name of ice shelf associated with the basin (see also IceShelf_Antarctica_v2). Note: there can be multiple ice shelves associated with a single basin.
    IceBoundaries_Antarctica_v2 Name Names for Antarctic floating glacial ice (ice shelves and ice tongues), single label for all grounded ice, single label for all islands
    Regions Regions refers to the separation in East Antarctica (East), West Antarctica (West) and the Antarctic Peninsula (Peninsula). In addition, the region, Islands, is provided.
    Subregions Subregions are defined based on historical nomenclature (Giovinetto and Zwally, 2000) plus modern DEM and ice velocity data, and adjusted to match the drainage boundaries. Note:  no special characters are possible: *Xp=X’ ; Xpp=X’’
    Type Type refers to grounded ice (GR), floating ice (FL), and islands (IS)
    Asso_Shelf Name of ice shelf associated with the basin (see also IceShelf_Antarctica_v2). Note: there can be multiple ice shelves associated with a single basin, which are separated by the character “/”.

    *Some GIS applications do not allow for special characters.

    The coding for the GeoTIFF raster is:

    • 0 for the ocean
    • 125 for the floating glacial ice (ice shelves and ice tongues)
    • 255 for the grounded ice

    To view a sample of the data, refer to the Spatial Coverage section, Figure 2f.

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    Software and Tools

    Shapefiles can be readily accessed using GIS software such as ArcGIS and QGIS.

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    Data Acquisition and Processing

    Theory of Measurements

    The ice front can be determined from SAR satellite imagery. The grounding line refers to the location where an ice sheet detaches from the bedrock and starts floating in the ocean. This data set includes ice front and grounding line information for the entire Antarctic coastline, derived from a variety of satellite radar interferometry data. Mapping of the different boundaries was realized with QGIS v2.12.

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    Data Acquisition Methods

    Grounding lines for the Antarctic Ice Sheet were derived using differential satellite synthetic aperture radar interferometry (DInSAR) data from the Earth Remote Sensing Satellites 1 and 2 (ERS-1 and -2), RADARSAT and RADARSAT-2, the Advanced Land Observing System (ALOS) PALSAR for years 1992 to 2009, and Copernicus Sentinel-1a for years 2014 to 2015. Ice front information was extracted from ALOS PALSAR data acquired during IPY in 2008 and 2009 and completed with MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) 2009 (https://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0593). A detailed description of the product and the methodology is provided in Rignot et al. 2011.

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    Data Sources
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    Quality Assessment

    See Rignot et al. 2013 for a detailed description of the product and its quality. Details about grounding line position are provided in MEaSUREs Antarctic Grounding Line from Differential Satellite Radar Interferometry user guide. Based on geocoded SAR amplitude images from ALOS/PALSAR and ENVISAT/SAR geocoded at spacing of 150 m, it is estimated that the coastline is mapped with a precision of about 300 m.

    In some places, coastline and grounding line are evolving rapidly, and as a result, this data set may not represent the current state. In addition, a few pinning points may be still missing.

    Based on QGIS software, the shapefiles should be free of geometry errors; i.e. shapes should not overlap or intersect.

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    Sensor or Instrument Description

    For information about the SAR systems used to construct the mosaics from which this data set is derived, see SAR Datasets / RADARSAT-1 | Alaska Satellite Facility, ERS - Earth Online - ESA , About ALOS - PALSAR, and ESA Copernicus Sentinel-1 site. For more information about the MODIS sensor onboard the TERRA and AQUA satellites, see NASA's website MODIS Web. See Landsat 8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) and TIRS (Thermal Infrared Sensor) for more information on the OLI sensor onboard the Landsat 8 satellite.

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    References and Related Publications

    Contacts and Acknowledgments

    Dr. Jeremie Mouginot
    University of California, Irvine
    Department of Earth System Science
    Croul Hall
    Irvine, California 92697
    USA

    Dr. Eric Rignot
    University of California, Irvine
    Department of Earth System Science
    Croul Hall
    Irvine, California 92697
    USA

    Dr. Bernd Scheuchl
    University of California, Irvine
    Department of Earth System Science
    Croul Hall
    Irvine, California 92697
    USA

    Acknowledgments: 

    Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2014-2015), acquired by the European Space Agency, distributed through the Alaska Satellite Facility, and processed by Mouginot, J., B. Scheuchl, and E. Rignot.

    Document Information

    DOCUMENT CREATION DATE

    March 2017

    DOCUMENT REVISION DATE

    No technical references available for this data set.
    No FAQs or How Tos available for this data set.

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