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Data Set ID:

Glacier Mass Balance and Regime Measurements and Analysis, 1945-2003, Version 1

This data set consists of glacier regime parameters observed between 1945 and 2003. Data include annual mass balances, ablation, accumulation, and equilibrium-line altitude of mountain and subpolar glaciers outside the two major ice sheets. All available sources of information, such as publications, archived data, and personal communications have been collected, and include time series of more than 300 glaciers. Data have been digitized and quality checked.

Geographic Coverage

  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ablation Zones/Accumulation Zones
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Area
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Mass Balance/Ice Sheet Mass Balance > Mass Balance
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180

Spatial Resolution:
  • Varies
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1945 to 31 December 2003
(updated 2005)
Temporal Resolution: Varies
Data Format(s):
  • Microsoft Excel
  • PDF
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Mark Dyurgerov

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.

Dyurgerov, M. Edited by M. Meier and R. Armstrong. 2002, updated 2005. Glacier Mass Balance and Regime Measurements and Analysis, 1945-2003, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

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Detailed Data Description


Data are in Microsoft Excel format and a report is also provided in PDF format.

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File and Directory Structure

The following files are found on the FTP site:



An explanation of the appendix data is included in the PDF file beginning on page 91.

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File Size

The PDF file is 1.23 MB and the total size of all of the Excel files is 1.7 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

Coverage is worldwide.

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Temporal Coverage

Observational data cover the period 1945 to 2003.

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Parameter or Variable

Parameter Description

Minimum, maximum, and median elevation; glacier length and area; mass balance; ablation/accumulation; and equilibrium-line altitude of 280 glaciers are given, based on observational studies reported in publications, archived data, personal communications..

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Quality Assessment

Data have been digitized and quality checked; all errors found were eliminated.

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Contacts and Acknowledgments

Mark Dyurgerov
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309


This study was supported by a State Department Grant to M. Dyurgerov in 1993-94; and NSF Grants OPP-9530782, OPP-9634289 to M. Meier, M. Dyurgerov, R. Armstrong and J. Dwyer in 1996-2000. The final stage of this work has been supported by NSF Grant BCS-0099236. The authors are very thankful to many of their colleagues all over the world for sending additional data, in particular to: L. Andreassen, H. Björnsson, L. Braun, T. Chinn, G.Cogley, H. Conway, A. Fountain, M. Funk, J.-O. Hagen, S. Hastenrath, P. Jansson, V. Konovalov, R. Koerner, R. Krimmel, M. Kuhn, V. Kuzmichenok, A. Marcus, R. Martines Costa, M. Miller, Yu. Narozhniy, G. Østrem, M. Pelto, F. Pertziger, V. Popovnin, L. A. Rasmussen, O. Reinwarth, O. Sigurdsson, V. Uvarov, and Zichu Xie. The investigator thanks Carissa Carter for assistance in preparation of the final version for publication and also wishes to thank Graham Cogley, Simon Ommanney, Bruce Raup and Mary Jo Brodzik for their comments and data verification.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

March 2002

Document Revision Date

April 2005

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