MEaSUREs Greenland Ice Sheet Mosaics from SAR Data, Version 1
Data set id:
DOI: 10.5067/6187DQUL3FR5
This is the most recent version of these data.
Version Summary
Initial release


This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, contains high resolution mosaics of radar backscatter for the Greenland Ice Sheet derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data. Both calibrated and uncalibrated mosaics are available for: the winters of 2000-2001, 2005-2006 through 2008-2009, and 2012-2013; and a multiyear composite. Uncalibrated mosaics are available for the winter of 2009-2010. All mosaics are provided at both 100 m and 20 m resolutions. See Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) for related data.
Data Format(s):
PNG, GeoTIFF, Shapefile
Temporal Coverage:
15 January 2013 to 26 March 2013
4 November 2009 to 8 March 2010
4 January 2009 to 5 February 2009
22 November 2007 to 30 March 2008
30 December 2006 to 4 February 2007
24 December 2005 to 4 April 2006
21 September 2000 to 23 January 2001
Temporal Resolution:
Not Specified
Spatial Resolution:
20 m
20 m
100 m
100 m
Spatial Reference System(s):
WGS 84 / NSIDC Sea Ice Polar Stereographic North
Spatial Coverage:
Blue outlined yellow areas on the map below indicate the spatial coverage for this data set.
Strengths and Limitations


  • Radar mosaics for all years are produced from C-band RADARSAT data except for the 2009 – 2010 winter mosaic, which was produced from ALOS data.
  • Relative geolocation accuracy is a few meters or less for RADARSAT mosaics, except in locations with large changes in surface elevation (e.g., lower Jakobshavn catchment).
  • Provides nearly complete coverage of outlet glaciers in coastal Greenland (Joughin et al., 2016).


  • Absolute geolocation is only as good as the DEM used for terrain corrections — an error of only a few meters for most of the ice sheet. However, location errors can be >20 m in steeply sloping terrain or in areas where the surface has changed (e.g., thinned) relative to the DEM.

Data Access & Tools

A free NASA Earthdata Login account is required to access these data. Learn More

Sample Data Image

Radar-backscatter mosaic

This mosaic is a 20-meter resolution mosaic of radar backscatter for the Greenland Ice Sheet. The mosaics are derived from SAR data. Credit: NASA MEaSUREs GrIMP Data: CSA, JAXA

Help Articles

How to Articles

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 the following data products:
We recommend using the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) to convert GeoTIFF files into a different format.
We recommend using the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) or a GIS to reproject geoTIFF files.
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.