Data Set ID:
GLA14

GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Land Surface Altimetry Data, Version 34

NOTE ON GLAS BINARY DATA: Access to all ICESat/GLAS binary data products at NSIDC DAAC was removed 01 August 2017. The Binary Data Subsetter also has been decommissioned. ICESat/GLAS data remain available in HDF5 format.

The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument on the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) provides global measurements of polar ice sheet elevation to discern changes in ice volume (mass balance) over time. Secondary objectives of GLAS are to measure sea ice roughness and thickness, cloud and atmospheric properties, land topography, vegetation canopy heights, ocean surface topography, and surface reflectivity.

GLAS has a 1064 nm laser channel for surface altimetry and dense cloud heights, and a 532 nm lidar channel for the vertical distribution of clouds and aerosols.

This level-2 altimetry product (GLA14) provides surface elevations for land. Data also include the laser footprint gelocation and reflectance, as well as geodetic, instrument, and atmospheric corrections for range measurements.

Each data granule has an associated browse product that users can quickly view to determine the general quality of the data in the granule. Browse products consist of image plots of key parameters and statistics. Data are in scaled integer binary format, big-endian (Unix) byte order.

Version Summary:

Release 34 incorporates fixes for several data issues that were determined to exist in the GLAS Release 33 data products.

Parameter(s):
  • Surface Radiative Properties > Reflectance > Laser Reflectance
  • Topography > Terrain Elevation > TERRAIN ELEVATION
Data Format(s):
  • Binary
Spatial Coverage:
N: 86, 
S: -86, 
E: 180, 
W: -180
Platform(s):ICESAT
Spatial Resolution:
  • 60 m to 70 m x 60 m to 70 m
Sensor(s):ALTIMETERS, GLAS
Temporal Coverage:
  • 20 February 2003 to 11 October 2009
Version(s):V34
Temporal Resolution1288 minuteMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):H. Zwally, Robert Schutz, Charles Bentley, Jack Bufton, Thomas Herring, Jean-Bernard Minster, James Spinhirne, Robert Thomas

Geographic Coverage

No 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.

Zwally, H. J., R. Schutz, C. Bentley, J. Bufton, T. Herring, J. Minster, J. Spinhirne, and R. Thomas. 2014. GLAS/ICESat L2 Global Land Surface Altimetry Data, Version 34. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: https://doi.org/10.5067/ICESAT/GLAS/DATA227. [Date Accessed].

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FAQ

Are the altimetry data adjusted to the Geoid, or only to the Ellipsoid?
The elevation data are relative to the ellipsoid. The data also have a parameter indicating the geoid height, which is the height of the EGM2008 geoid above the TOPEX/Poseidon ellipsoid for the first and last shot in the record: GLAH06 Data_40HZ/Geophysical/d_gdHt GLAH12 Data_40HZ/... read more

How To

Filter and order from a data set web page
Many NSIDC data set web pages provide the ability to search and filter data with spatial and temporal contstraints using a map-based interface. This article outlines how to order NSIDC DAAC data using advanced searching and filtering.  Step 1: Go to a data set web page This article will use the... read more