Data Set ID:

Polar Pathfinder Daily 25 km EASE-Grid Sea Ice Motion Vectors, Version 4

This data set contains daily and weekly sea ice motion vectors, as well as browse images representing the weekly data. Input data sources, derived from AVHRR, AMSRE, SMMR, SSMI, and SSMI/S sensors; IABP buoys; and NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis forecasts, used to generate the daily and weekly sea ice motion estimates are also included. The temporal coverage for this data set is 25 October 1978 through 31 December 2019. For more recent data, see the Quicklook Arctic Weekly EASE-Grid Sea Ice Motion Vectors data set (

This is the most recent version of these data.

Version Summary:

Changes to this version include:
Data are provided in georeferenced netCDF format rather than ASCII and raw binary files
Merge 15 highest-weighted rather than 15 closest input vectors
Improved filtering of SSMI inputs
Each buoy provides one daily motion estimate instead of separate noon and midnight estimates
Monthly ice motion estimates are no longer provided

COMPREHENSIVE Level of Service

Data: Data integrity and usability verified; data customization services available for select data

Documentation: Key metadata and comprehensive user guide available

User Support: Assistance with data access and usage; guidance on use of data in tools and data customization services

See All Level of Service Details

Data Format(s):
  • NetCDF
  • PNG
Spatial Coverage:
N: 90, 
N: -37, 
S: 29.7, 
S: -90, 
E: 180, 
E: 180, 
W: -180
W: -180
Platform(s):AQUA, BUOYS, DMSP 5D-2/F11, DMSP 5D-2/F13, DMSP 5D-2/F8, DMSP 5D-3/F17, NOAA-11, NOAA-12, NOAA-14, NOAA-9, Nimbus-7
Spatial Resolution:
  • Varies x Varies
  • 25 km x 25 km
Temporal Coverage:
  • 25 October 1978 to 31 December 2019
Temporal Resolution1 day, 7 dayMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Mark Tschudi, Walter Meier, J Stewart, Charles Fowler, Jim Maslanik

Geographic Coverage

Once you have logged in, you will be able to click and download files via a Web browser. There are also options for downloading via a command line or client. For more detailed instructions, please see Options Available for Bulk Downloading Data from HTTPS with Earthdata Login.

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.

Tschudi, M., W. N. Meier, J. S. Stewart, C. Fowler, and J. Maslanik. 2019. Polar Pathfinder Daily 25 km EASE-Grid Sea Ice Motion Vectors, Version 4. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

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How To

How to import Polar Pathfinder Daily 25 km EASE-Grid Sea Ice Motion Vectors into ArcGIS
This article describes the actions to perform in order work with NSIDC-0116 in ArcGIS. At the time of writing, this tutorial is relevant for ArcMap10.5 and earlier. The following steps will show you how to prepare the binary files for import, format conversion, geolocation/projection, and display... read more
How to convert the horizontal and vertical components to east and north
This article describes how to convert the u (horizontal) and v (vertical) components from the ice motion data set to East and North components on the Earth's surface. Instructions for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are described below: Northern Hemisphere The latitudes and longitudes... read more
V0 Programmatic Data Access Guide
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. We provide basic command line Wget and curl instructions for HTTPS file system downloads below. For questions about programmatic access to NSIDC... read more