Antarctic Ice Velocity Maps

The figures on this page show Antarctic ice velocity maps produced by Eric Rignot (available from NSIDC) with the current GSFC drainage system (DS) boundaries. There is one overview map and one detail map for each drainage system.

The following description of the ice velocity maps is from the info file available with the maps.


Antarctic Ice Velocities at 900 m spacing
Version 1.0 (November 2011)

file_name_velocities: Antarctica_ice_velocity_binary.dat
byte_order: big endian
data_format_velocities: complex (2 * single precision float)
velocity_X: real part, unit: meter/year
Velocity_Y: imaginary part, unit: meter/year
file_Name_error_est.: Antarctica_ice_velocity_error.dat
data_format_error: byte, unit: meter/year
columns: 6223 pixel
rows: 6223 pixel
Projection: Polar Stereographic South (PS)
Ellipsoid: WGS-84
PS_secant_latitude: -71 degrees
PS_longitude_origin: 0 degrees
PS_latitude_origin: -90 degrees
PS_spacing: 900 m
PS_xmin: -2800000.0 m
PS_ymax: 2800000.0 m

This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth Science Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, provides the first comprehensive, high-resolution, digital mosaic of ice motion in Antarctica assembled from multiple satellite interferometric synthetic-aperture radar data.

Data were acquired during the International Polar Year 2007 to 2009. This map was built from spring 2009 data from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)’s and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA)’s RADARSAT-2, spring 2007-2008-2009 data from European Space Agency (ESA)’s Envisat ASAR, and fall 2007-2008 data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) PALSAR, complemented by patches of CSA’s RADARSAT-1 data from fall 2000 and ESA’s Earth Remote Sensing Satellites ERS-1/2 data from spring 1996. Each radar instrument contributes its unique coverage and performance level. The final mosaic assembles 900 satellite tracks and more than 3,000 orbits of radar data. Data acquisitions between 2006 and 2011 are courtesy of the IPY Space Task Group.


The generation of this data set and its scientific interpretation are discussed in the following citation. We kindly request that you acknowledge the use of this data set by referencing the following citation:

Rignot, E., J. Mouginot, and B. Scheuchl (2011), Ice Flow of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, Science, doi 10.1126/science.1208336. Early Release on August 18, 2011

Data Citation

Please also include the following data set reference, which identifies where to access these data.

Rignot, E., J. Mouginot, and B. Scheuchl. 2011. MEaSUREs InSAR-Based Antarctica Velocity Map. Boulder, Colorado USA: NASA EOSDIS Distributed Active Archive Center at NSIDC. Accessed on [date].

More Information

For more information go to: Data were processed at the Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine. Final version completed on July 8, 2011.



Rignot᾿s Velocity Map with Zwally 2011 Drainage Divides