Data Set ID:

Land Resources of Russia -- Maps of Permafrost and Ground Ice, Version 1

This data set includes maps of permafrost extent, permafrost temperature, the permafrost boundary, and ground ice thickness for all of Russia. The maps are ESRI Shapefiles, which were digitized from paper maps taken from the World Atlas of Snow and Ice Resources, 1997, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. The scale of the source maps range from 1:20,000,000 to 1:40,000,000. Polygons were assigned attributes based on the classes used in the legends of the paper map.

These data were extracted from a larger collection entitled Land Resources of Russia. Data and documentation © 2002 copyright International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

This is the most recent version of these data.

  • Frozen Ground > Ground Ice > GROUND ICE
  • Frozen Ground > Permafrost > PERMAFROST
  • Soils > Soil Temperature > SOIL TEMPERATURE
  • Frozen Ground > Soil Temperature > SOIL TEMPERATURE
Data Format(s):
  • ESRI Shapefile
Spatial Coverage:
N: 77.7, 
S: 41.2, 
E: 180, 
W: 27.3
Platform(s):Not specified
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):Not specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1996 to 31 December 1996
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Vladamir Kotlyakov, Tatiana Khromova

Geographic Coverage

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FTP data can be downloaded through a Web browser or command line via FTP. For help downloading data through an FTP client, go to the How to access data using an FTP client support page.

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.

Kotlyakov, V. and T. Khromova 2002. Land Resources of Russia -- Maps of Permafrost and Ground Ice, 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 ESRI Shapefiles, converted from Arc/Info e00 files using the ARCSHAPE command. The Shapefiles are most easily imported into ESRI's ArcView, but most other GIS packages can import ESRI Shapefiles. ESRI also provides a free basic GIS package, ArcExplorer, on the ESRI web site.

Each Shapefile consists of three files: filename.dbf (attribute data), filename.shp (feature geometry) and filename.shx (feature geometry index). In all cases the cover# and cover-id field names were shortened to conform to the 10-character field name width limit for dBase files .dbf.

File names are


Following is a quick tutorial for defining the projection of this data set in ArcGIS. These steps were tested with ArcGIS 9:

1. Open ArcToolbox. Select Data Management Tools --> Projections and Transformations --> Define Projection.

2. In the Define Projection window, select an input shapefile for the "Input Dataset or Feature Class" field. The "Coordinate System" field now says "Unknown." Click the icon to the right of the "Coordinate System" field.

3. In the Spatial Reference Properties window that appears, click Select to select a predefined coordinate system. Click Projected Coordinate Systems --> Polar. Select North Pole Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area.prj. Click Add.

4. Back in the Spatial Reference Properties window, click Modify. Change the parameters to the following:

False_Easting: 0.0
False_Northing: 0.0
Central_Meridian: 100.0
Latitude_Of_Origin: 45.0

Leave the "Linear Unit" as meters. In the "Geographic Coordinate System" section, click Modify. For "Datum" and "Spheroid" select <custom>. For "Semimajor axis" and "Semiminor axis" enter 6370997.24063. Click OK until the Define Projection wizard runs. The shapefiles are now projected.

Note: the Land Resources of Russia site defines the projection parameters as follows, for those who use the "projectdefine" Arc command:

Projection: Lambert Azimuthal
Units: Meters
Datum: None
6370997.24063 (radius of the sphere of reference)
100 0 0.000 (longitude of center of projection)
45 0 0.000 (latitude of center of projection)
0.00000 (false easting (meters))
0.00000 (false northing (meters))

While all spatial datasets on the "Land Resources of Russia" CD are stored in the Lambert Azimuthal projection, differences occur between the coverages in terms of resolution and scale. In particular, the outer boundary of Russia, islands, and water bodies may vary between data sets.

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Software and Tools

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Data Acquisition and Processing

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Contacts and Acknowledgments

Victor Kotlyakov
Dr. in Geography, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Institute of Geography
Russian Academy of Sciences.

Tatiana Khromova
Institute of Geography
Russian Academy of Sciences

Document Information

Document Creation Date:

13 September 2002

Document Revision Date:

24 January 2005

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