Data Set ID: 

MEaSUREs Global Record of Daily Landscape Freeze/Thaw Status, Version 5

This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, consists of two global records of the daily freeze/thaw (F/T) status of the landscape. The primary record is derived from radiometric brightness temperatures acquired between 1979 and 2020 by three satellite-based passive microwave sensors: the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR), the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I), and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS).

A second, synergistic record is available for the years 2002 to 2020, derived from observations acquired by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) and the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2).

This is the most recent version of these data.

Version Summary: 

This version update includes:
• Extended F/T record to 2020;
• Applied modified seasonal threshold algorithm (MSTA) for the F/T classification where MSTA Tb reference F/T conditions are calibrated annually for each pixel using ERA5 (Hersbach et al., 2018) daily surface air temperature (SAT) records;
• Constant threshold applied over global permanent snow/ice regions to determine the F/T state when the correlation (r-value) between ERA5 SAT and brightness temperature (Tb) is low (absolute value of r less than 0.5). The constant Tb threshold used to distinguish F/T events was determined annually using mean Tb threshold values derived from pixels with higher correlation (absolute value of r greater than 0.5) between SSM/I Tb and ERA5 SAT;
• Applied diurnal amplitude variation (DAV) of Tb from ascending and descending orbital overpass retrievals as an additional step to confirm thaw condition for the PM overpass only;
• Updated quality control (QC) flags included in the product granules identifying grid cells and days with missing and interpolated Tb observations, and characterizing extensive open water bodies, complex terrain, and precipitation events;
• Updated annual data quality assurance (QA) maps included to indicate product performance and reliability.


BASIC Level of Service

Data: Data integrity verified

Documentation: Key metadata and links to supporting documentation available

User Support: Assistance with data access and basic data usage

* Early access to data; increased Level of Service available in the future

See All Level of Service Details

Data Format(s):
  • HDF
  • GIF
  • GeoTIFF
Spatial Coverage:
N: 86.7167, 
S: -86.7167, 
E: 179.9999, 
W: -179.9999
Platform(s):Aqua, DMSP 5D-2/F11, DMSP 5D-2/F13, DMSP 5D-2/F8, DMSP 5D-3/F17, FY-3B, GCOM-W1, Nimbus-7
Spatial Resolution:
  • 25 km x 25 km
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1979 to 31 December 2020
Temporal Resolution1 dayMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Youngwook Kim, John Kimball, Jinyang Du, Tobias Kundig

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.

Kim, Y., J. S. Kimball, J. Du, and J. Glassy. 2021. MEaSUREs Global Record of Daily Landscape Freeze/Thaw Status, Version 5. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: [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.

  • Kim, Y., J. S. Kimball, J. Glassy, and J. Du. 2017. An Extended Global Earth System Data Record on Daily Landscape Freeeze-Thaw Determined from Satellite Passive Microwave Remote Sensing, Earth System Science Data. 9. 133–147.

A user guide is not available for this data set.

How To

Programmatic Data Access Guide
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How do I convert a GeoTIFF into a NetCDF file?
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