CryoSat-2 Antarctica 1km DEM

Dataset Availability
2010-07-01T00:00:00Z - 2016-07-01T00:00:00
Dataset Provider
Earth Engine Snippet
antarctica cpom cryosat-2 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 meters

Antarctic ice sheet and ice shelf elevation.


Data processing method of elevation per grid cell.

slope degrees

Slope derived from elevation gradient.

z_smoothed meters

Smoothed version of elevation model using a median filter.

z_uncertainty meters

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

The data are freely available. When using these data, please cite the provided article.


  • 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');