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Data Set ID:

Antarctic Mean Annual Temperature Map, Version 1

The Mean Annual Temperature map was calculated by creating a contour map using compiled 10 meter firn temperature data from NSIDC and other mean annual temperature data from both cores and stations.

The 10 meter data contains temperature measurements dating back to 1957 and the International Geophysical Year, including measurements from several major recent surveys. Data cover the entire continental ice sheet and several ice shelves, but coverage density is generally low.

Data are stored in Microsoft Excel and Tagged Image File Format (TIFF), and are available sporadically from 1957 to 2003 via FTP.

Geographic Coverage

Spatial Coverage:
  • N: -65, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1957 to 31 December 2003
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets
  • Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Ice Sheets
  • Snow/Ice
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Temperature
Data Format(s):
  • Microsoft Excel
  • TIFF
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Daniel Dixon

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.

Dixon, D. A. 2007. Antarctic Mean Annual Temperature Map, 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 files are in Microsoft Excel (.xls) format viewable with spreadsheet software. A map is available in TIFF format.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory.

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File Naming Convention

This data set contains three files. The 10m_temps_NSIDC_dixon.xls file contains ten-meter temperature data housed at NSIDC and compiled by Daniel Dixon. The 10m_temps_MORE_dixon.xls file contains temperature data that is not maintained by NSIDC. Daniel Dixon compiled this data. The Antarctic_Mean_Annual_Temp_Data_Dixon.tif file is a map image showing the locations of data in both Excel files.

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File Size

File sizes range from 46 KB to 3071 KB.

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The entire data set is approximately 3500 KB.

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Spatial Coverage

This data set spans the entire continent of Antarctica.

Southernmost Latitude: 90° S
Northernmost Latitude: 65° S
Westernmost Longitude: 180° W
Easternmost Longitude: 180° E

Spatial Coverage Map

The thumbnail image below shows the map TIFF file available via FTP.

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Temporal Coverage

Data were collected periodically between 1957 and 2003.

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Parameter or Variable

Parameters include location of measurement stations as geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) and polar stereographic (km), measurement type and depth, and temperature.

The following table describes the columns in the data files. 
Note: Not all data records contain all columns.

Table 1. Description of Columns in Ten Meter Temperature Excel Files



Site Station Name or Code
Lat/Lon Measurement location in geographic coordinates
Polar X/Polar Y Measurement location in polar stereographic coordinates (km)
Elev Elevation at measurement site
Depth Measurement depth
Flag Represents how temperature was derived:
  • D: measurements corrected for thermal decay, but not for annual thermal cycle
  • S: single point measurement, not corrected for short-term thermal decay or annual thermal cycle
  • E: extrapolated measurement
  • A: mean annual temperature measurement
    Note: Accuracy of temperature values is questionable because temperature measurements were not taken at the bottom of the hole.
Temp Recorded Temperature
Temp. Data Type Type of temperature data, such as 10-meter temperature, or mean annual air temperature

Sample Data Record

The following example shows sample data from the 10m_temps_NSIDC_dixon.xls file

St# Date Lat(S) Lon(W) Elev Temp Flag* Depth (m)
1 15 11 70 -78.6 -13.233 1660 -34.2 A 10
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Software and Tools

Software and Tools

Data are accessible using standard image processing and spreadsheet software.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Data Acquisition Methods

The Antarctic Mean Annual Temperature Map was compiled from ten-meter temperature measurements dating back to 1957. Since the data were collected by different expeditions, acquisition methods varied. For more information on the ten-meter data held by NSIDC, see the notes and sources in the table below. The Antarctic mean annual temperature map also contains data points compiled from sources outside NSIDC. For more information on those data sets, please see the publications cited in the 10m_temps_MORE_Dixon.xls file.

Table 2. Ten Meter Temperature Data Traverses
Date Traverse Notes/Sources Maps
British Traverses (map)
1974 Glaciology of the Antarctic Peninsula Program notes/sources traverse image
1970 Inland from Halley Bay notes/sources traverse image
1957-1958 Trans-Antarctic Expedition notes/sources traverse image
Japanese Traverses (map)
1969-1970 Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) 10 and 11 notes/sources traverse image
1972-1973 Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) 12 and 13 notes/sources traverse image
1974-1975 Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) 15 notes/sources traverse image
1968-1969 Syowa-South Pole Traverse notes/sources traverse image
Norwegian Traverses (map)
1996-1997 Norwegian Traverse notes/sources traverse image
United States West Antarctic Traverses (map)
1961-1962 Antarctic Peninsula Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1960-1961 Byrd Station to South Pole Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1958-1959 Ellsworth-Byrd Station Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1960-1961 Ellsworth Highland (Byrd Station to Bellingshausen Sea) Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1957-1958 Filchner Ice Shelf (Ellsworth) Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1957-1958 Little America-Byrd Station Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1958-1959 Marie Byrd Land-Horlick Mountains Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1959-1960 Marie Byrd Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1957-1958 Sentinel Range (Marie Byrd Land) Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1962-1963 South Pole Traverse notes/sources traverse image
United States McMurdo Area Traverses (map)
1958-1959 Little America-Victoria Land Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1960-1961 McMurdo-Pole Traverse notes/sources traverse image
1959-1960 Victoria Land Traverse notes/sources traverse image
United States Queen Maud Land Traverses (map)
1964-1965 South Pole-Queen Maud Land Traverse I notes/sources traverse image
1965-1966 South Pole-Queen Maud Land Traverse II notes/sources traverse image
1967-1968 South Pole-Queen Maud Land Traverse III notes/sources traverse image
United States Ross Ice Shelf Traverses (map)
1974-1978 Ross Ice Shelf Geophysical and Glaciological Survey (RIGGS) notes/sources traverse image
1957-1958 Ross Ice Shelf Traverse notes/sources traverse image
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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Daniel Dixon
5790 Bryand Global Sciences Center
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469


This research was supported by NSF OPP grant number 229573.

Document Information


27 January, 2009

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