ICESat-1, Southern Hemisphere


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Principal contacts

Dr. Nathan Kurtz, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Data web site

Goddard web site


Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) on nthe ICESat-1 satellite



Time intervals

2004-2007 in 13 campaigns:

ID Dates N obs
FM04 18 February 2004 - 21 March 2004 264
FM05 19 February 2005 - 24 March 2005 290
FM06 23 February 2006 - 27 March 2006 170
FM08 19 February 2008 - 21 March 2008 94
MA07 12 March 2007 - 14 April 2007 310
MJ04 19 May 2004 - 15 June 2004 995
MJ05 21 May 2005 - 23 June 2005 2146
MJ06 24 May 2006 - 26 June 2006 1844
ON03 25 September 2003 - 18 November 2003 1949
ON04 3 October 2004 - 8 November 2004 1651
ON05 22 October 2005 - 23 November 2005 828
ON06 25 October 2006 - 26 November 2006 736
ON07 2 October 2007 - 5 November 2007 1150

N obs is the number of clusters retained for each campaign.


Data processing notes

This data set provides measurements of sea ice freeboard and sea ice thickness for the Antarctic region. The data were acquired from the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) instrument, the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). The data span thirteen GLAS campaigns, laser 2004 to 2007. Data parameters include sea ice freeboard and sea ice thickness measured in meters. The data at Goddard are provided in three formats: ASCII track data with individual retrieval points, ascii gridded and interpolated data for each campaign on a 25-km grid, and gridded and interpolated data for each season (FM, MJ, or ON, averaged over all years). The ASCII track data have a resolution of about 175 meters in the along-track direction.

The track data for each individual laser campaign have been averaged for clusters that fall within 50-km square grid cells. Summary statistics of both freeboad and ice thickness are computed. At this time no distribution files are included. At least 250 point values are required within a 50-km cell for the summary to be retained.

Number of samples

13 Laser campaigns, 12,432 clusters, 5,370,762 point values



Kurtz, N.T., and T. Markus, Satellite observations of Antarctic sea ice thickness and volume, J. Geophys. Res., 117, C08025, doi:10.1029/2012JC008141, 2012.

Markus, T., Massom, R., Worby, A., Lytle, V., Kurtz, N., and T. Maksym, Freeboard, snow depth, and sea ice roughness in East Antarctica from in-situ and multiple satellite data, Ann. Glaciol., 52(57), 2011.


ICESat and ICESat data processing are fully supported by NASA


Map of cluster locations from all campaigns

map of al cluster locations

The maps show the locations and mean ice thickness of all clusters for all laser periods. Click on a map to see an enlarged version.


Number of clusters and thickness box plots for each laser campaign

ICESat box plots

The box plots show the median, the 5th, 25th and 75th, and 95th percentiles. Click on the plot to see an enlarged version.