• Due to planned system maintenance taking place on Wednesday, October 5 from 10 - 11 a.m. (USA Mountain Time), data set landing pages and other related data pages may be temporarily unavailable or behave unexpectedly during that timeframe.

  • For a list of known issues with this product, see the Known Issues document under the Documentation section of the page.

  • On Wednesday, October 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Mountain Time), the following data collections may not be available due to planned system maintenance: AMSR Unified, AMSR-E, Aquarius, High Mountain Asia, IceBridge, ICESat/GLAS, ICESat-2, LVIS, MEaSUREs, MODIS, SMAP, SnowEx, SSM/I-SSMIS and VIIRS.

ATLAS/ICESat-2 L3A Along Track Inland Surface Water Data, Version 5 (ATL13)
Data set:
This is the most recent version of these data.
Version Summary
Changes for this version include:

  • Modified the creation of short segment length to provide additional accuracy for smaller water bodies.

  • Included the analysis of the partial short segments at the very end of a transect to provide a more accurate river edge detection.

  • Updated subsurface refraction correction to also include lat/lon position of bottom location.

  • Updated the surface analysis to include assumed fresh and salt water indices based on water body type to provide a more accurate estimation of the attenuation coefficient.

  • Added POD/PPD flags that indicate quality of input geolocation to improve the understanding of product quality.

  • Replaced the Crossing Number (CN) algorithm with the Winding Number (WN) algorithm to allow the analysis over lakes previously skipped. This improved the capture of ICESat-2 observations over small and large water bodies.

  • Updated the external links for the ATL13 height product validation.

  • Added the count of output signal photons in full and partial non-anomalous and anomalous short segments to improve the understanding of product accuracy.

  • Fixed a couple of bugs, see the user guide for more details.


This data set (ATL13) contains along-track surface water products for inland water bodies. Inland water bodies include lakes, reservoirs, rivers, bays, estuaries and a 7km near-shore buffer. Principal data products include the along-track water surface height and standard deviation, subsurface signal (532 nm) attenuation, significant wave height, wind speed, and coarse depth to bottom topography (where data permit).
Data Contributor(s):
  • Michael
  • Jeremy
  • David
  • John
  • Jyothi
Data Format(s):
Temporal Coverage:
13 October 2018 to present
Temporal Resolution:
91 day
Spatial Resolution:
Spatial Coverage:

Data Access & Tools

A free NASA Earthdata Login account is required to access these data. Learn More

Help Articles

How To

This webinar introduces the ICESat-2 mission and shows you how to explore, access and customize ICESat-2 data with the OpenAltimetry application, using NSIDC DAAC tools, and shows you how to subset, reformat and analyze the data using Python.
Many NSIDC DAAC data sets can be accessed using the NSIDC DAAC's Data Access Tool. This tool provides the ability to search and filter data with spatial and temporal constraints using a map-based interface.
To convert HDF5 files into binary format you will need to use the h5dump utility, which is part of the HDF5 distribution available from the HDF Group. How you install HDF5 depends on your operating system.
This guide will provide an overview of the altimetry measurements and data sets across the missions, as well as a guide for accessing the data through NASA Earthdata Search and programmatically using an Application Programming Interface (API).
All data from the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC) can be accessed directly from our HTTPS file system, using wget or curl. Basic command line instructions are provided in the article below. 
NASA Earthdata Search is a map-based interface where a user can search for Earth science data, filter results based on spatial and temporal constraints, and order data with customizations including re-formatting, re-projecting, and spatial and parameter subsetting.


This article covers frequently asked questions about the NASA NSIDC DAAC's Earthdata cloud migration project and what it means to data users.

Getting started

The NASA Earthdata Cloud is the NASA cloud-based archive of Earth observations. It is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Learn how to find and access NSIDC DAAC data directly in the cloud.
The following table describes the subsetting and reformatting services that are currently available for ICESat-2 data via the NASA Earthdata Search tool, along with