For a list of known issues with this product, see the Known Issues document under the Technical References tab.
Data Set ID: 

ATLAS/ICESat-2 L3A Land and Vegetation Height, Version 2

This data set (ATL08) contains along-track heights above the WGS84 ellipsoid (ITRF2014 reference frame) for the ground and canopy surfaces. The canopy and ground surfaces are processed in fixed 100 m data segments, which typically contain more than 100 signal photons. The data were acquired by the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) instrument on board the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) observatory.

There is a more recent version of these data.

Version Summary: 

Changes for this version include:

  • Removed the segment_id parameter from the product.
  • Added the layer_flag parameter (from ATL09) to allow users to filter by cloud cover.
  • Updated the description of the multiple scattering warning flag (msw_flag) to account for values of “-1” in cases where the presence of clouds or blowing snow could not be determined.
  • Removed the cloud_flag_asr parameter; added cloud_flag_atm and cloud_fold_flag for users to identify and filter potentially errant heights due to cloud cover.
  • Developed a method to evaluate flagged results from DRAGANN (noise filtering) and correct intermittent, erroneous flags that can occur well above and below land and vegetation due to changing background rates and clouds.
  • Reduced from 5% to 3% the minimum average canopy coverage pixel percentage (canopy cover estimate) from Landsat tiles.
  • Reduced (to a value of 9) the smoothing window size used to refine ground surface-finding, regardless of calculated smoothing window sizes for the initial ground and top of canopy finding.
  • Added a brightness flag (brightness_flag) to indicate potential snow accumulation (and similar bright surfaces) for each 100 m.

COMPREHENSIVE Level of Service

Data: Data integrity and usability verified; data customization services available for select data

Documentation: Key metadata and comprehensive user guide available

User Support: Assistance with data access and usage; guidance on use of data in tools and data customization services

See All Level of Service Details

  • LANDSCAPE > Canopy Height
Data Format(s):
  • HDF5
Spatial Coverage:
N: 90, 
S: -90, 
E: 180, 
W: -180
Spatial Resolution:
  • Varies
Temporal Coverage:
  • 14 October 2018
Temporal Resolution91 dayMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Amy Neuenschwander, Sorin Popescu, Ross Nelson, David Harding, Katherine Pitts, John Robbins

Geographic Coverage

Other Access Options

Other Access Options


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.

Neuenschwander, A. L., S. C. Popescu, R. F. Nelson, D. Harding, K. L. Pitts, and J. Robbins. 2019. ATLAS/ICESat-2 L3A Land and Vegetation Height, Version 2. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

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