Data Set ID:

MEaSUREs Greenland Ice Sheet Velocity Map from InSAR Data, Version 2

This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, contains seasonal (winter) ice sheet-wide velocity maps for Greenland. The maps are derived from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data obtained by the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) RADARSAT-1, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS), and the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X (TSX/TDX) satellites, as well as from the European Space Agency's (ESA) C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar data from Copernicus Sentinel-1A and -1B.

See Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) for related data.

This is the most recent version of these data.

Version Summary:

For Version 2, all velocity maps underwent quality control screening to remove erroneous data points. In addition, the following measures were performed:

  • Added new map for 2009/2010.
  • Added ALOS fine-beam data to improve coverage in 2006/2007, 2007/2008, and 2008/2009.
  • Corrected a substantial error on Rink glacier where the time interval was off by a factor of 2.
  • Improved baseline fits for consistency in the interior of the ice sheet.
  • Updated error estimates to better represent the average behavior of the data.
  • Added/updated shapefiles of satellite tracks for 2014 to 2018 winters.
  • Added browse files for 2014 to 2018 winters.
  • Updated the velocity magnitude (vv) file name.
  • Changed the missing data value for the velocity magnitude (vv) files to -1 and set it as the attribute in all files.

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):
  • GeoTIFF
  • JPEG
  • Shapefile
Spatial Coverage:
N: 83, 
S: 60, 
E: -14, 
W: -75
Spatial Resolution:
  • 200 m x 200 m
  • 500 m x 500 m
Sensor(s):C-SAR, PALSAR, SAR
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 September 2017 to 31 May 2018
  • 1 September 2016 to 31 May 2017
  • 1 September 2015 to 31 May 2016
  • 1 September 2014 to 31 May 2015
  • 10 November 2012 to 5 April 2013
  • 2 September 2009 to 7 May 2010
  • 15 September 2008 to 16 June 2009
  • 7 September 2007 to 23 April 2008
  • 18 December 2006 to 6 June 2007
  • 13 December 2005 to 20 April 2006
  • 3 September 2000 to 24 January 2001
(updated 2018)
Temporal ResolutionVariesMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Ian Joughin, Ben Smith, Ian Howat, Ted Scambos

Geographic Coverage

Other Access Options

Other Access Options


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.

Joughin, I., B. Smith, I. Howat, and T. Scambos. 2015, updated 2018. MEaSUREs Greenland Ice Sheet Velocity Map from InSAR Data, Version 2. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

Literature Citation

As a condition of using these data, we request that you acknowledge the author(s) of this data set by referencing the following peer-reviewed publication.

  • Joughin, I., B. Smith, I. Howat, T. Scambos, and T. Moon. 2010. Greenland Flow Variability from Ice-Sheet-Wide Velocity Mapping, Journal of Glaciology. 56. 415-430.

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How To

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 or through our Application Programming Interface (API). Our API offers you the ability to order data using specific temporal and spatial filters... read more
Visualize NSIDC data as WMS layers with ArcGIS and Google Earth
NASA's Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) provides up to date, full resolution imagery for selected NSIDC DAAC data sets. ... read more
Filter and order from a data set web page
Many NSIDC data set web pages provide the ability to search and filter data with spatial and temporal contstraints using a map-based interface. This article outlines how to order NSIDC DAAC data using advanced searching and filtering.  Step 1: Go to a data set web page This article will use the... read more
How do I reproject a geoTIFF from polar stereographic to geographic lat/lon?
We recommend using the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) or a GIS to reproject geoTIFF files. Here we outline command line or python options for using GDAL, and instructions for QGIS and ArcMap to... read more
How do I convert a GeoTIFF into a NetCDF file?
We recommend using the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) to convert GeoTIFF files into a different format. If you want to reproject to lat/lon as well, then we recommend reprojecting before converting to NetCDF (see the FAQ "How do I reproject a GeoTIFF to from polar steroegraphic to... read more
Visualize and download NSIDC DAAC data with NASA Worldview
NASA Worldview uses the Global Imagery Browse Service (GIBS) to provide up to date, full resolution imagery for select NSIDC DAAC data sets (see attachments below). The map interface allows users to... read more


Do you have sample code to read GeoTiffs?
The answer is yes. Below the image in this article, you will find  sample code in IDL, MATLAB, and Python to read in a GeoTIFF file, extract the metadata, and create an image. The code has been tested with data from: MEaSUREs Greenland Ice Sheet Velocity Mosaics SAR and Landsat, Version 1 (NSIDC-... read more