CryoSat-2 Antarctica 1km DEM

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antarctica dem elevation polar


This dataset is a digital elevation model (DEM) of the Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelves based on observations recorded by the CryoSat-2 satellite radar altimeter between July 2010 and July 2016.

The DEM is formed from spatio-temporal fits to elevation measurements accumulated within 1, 2, and 5 km grid cells, and is posted at the modal resolution of 1 km. The median and root mean square difference between the DEM and 2.3*10⁷ airborne laser altimeter measurements acquired during NASA Operation IceBridge campaigns are -0.30 and 13.50 m, respectively.

The DEM uncertainty rises in regions of high slope, especially where elevation measurements were acquired in low-resolution mode; taking this into account, we estimate the average accuracy to be 9.5 m.


1000 meters


Name Units Description
elevation m

Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelf elevation.


Data processing method of elevation per grid cell.

slope degrees

Slope derived from elevation gradient.

z_smoothed m

Smoothed version of elevation model using a median filter.

z_uncertainty m

Certainty of elevation model derived from RMS of elevation residuals in observed grid cells and the kriging variance error in interpolated grid cells.

data_composition Class Table

Value Color Description
0 000000 interpolated
1 CBCBCB 1 km fit
2 377EB7 resampled 2 km fit
3 E2191B resampled 5 km fit

Terms of Use

Terms of Use



  • Slater, T., Shepherd, A., McMillan, M., Muir, A., Gilbert, L., Hogg, A. E., Konrad, H. and Parrinello, T.: A new Digital Elevation Model of Antarctica derived from CryoSat-2 altimetry, The Cryosphere, doi:10.5194/tc-2017-223, 2018


Explore in Earth Engine

var dataset = ee.Image('CPOM/CryoSat2/ANTARCTICA_DEM');

var visualization = {
  bands: ['elevation'],
  min: 0.0,
  max: 4000.0,
  palette: ['001fff', '00ffff', 'fbff00', 'ff0000']

Map.setCenter(17.0, -76.0, 3);

Map.addLayer(dataset, visualization, 'Elevation');