Alaska Satellite Facility
Delivering Remote Sensing Data Since 1991

Download Sea Ice Data: Now GIS Compatible!

NASA Data Records

Sea-ice imagery and data products are supported under NASA's Making Earth System data records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program. These data have been used in a variety of applications.

Arctic Ocean imagery, data, and data products available at no cost to approved users from the Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) DAAC data pool include

  • More than 11 years of RADARSAT-1, nearly uninterrupted, three-day radar snapshots of Arctic Ocean sea ice.
  • Original synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images.

RADARSAT-1 data have been processed to

  • Construct a near decadal record of small-scale ice motion of the Arctic Ocean.
  • Produce a record of ice motion of the northern Bering Sea.
  • Assemble monthly high-resolution image mosaics of the Arctic Ocean.

These datasets are available from the ASF DAAC and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) through the project’s principal investigator, Ron Kwok. The original RADARSAT-1 images used to generate the products are available for download at no cost from the Alaska Satellite Facility datapool to approved users. To become an approved user, please submit the required Research Agreement.

MEaSUREs supports the NASA Earth-science research community in providing Earth science data products and services driven by NASA’s Earth-science goals. MEaSUREs projects focus on the creation of Earth System Data Records (ESDRs), including Climate Data Records. An ESDR is a unified and coherent set of observations of a given parameter of the Earth system that is optimized to meet specific requirements in addressing science questions.

These records are critical to understanding Earth system processes; assessing variability, long-term trends, and change in the Earth system; and providing input and validation means for modeling efforts.

This 1998 RADARSAT-1 image reveals grease ice along a pack-ice front in the Bering Sea. Grease ice forms after frazil (slush-like ice) crystals are pushed against each other. When the fragile "arms" of the crystals break and form a mixture of damaged crystals and crystal remnants, the result is grease ice—an oily-looking "ice soup" on the water surface. Its viscous nature smooths out small ocean waves. © CSA, 1998.This 1998 RADARSAT-1 image reveals grease ice along a pack-ice front in the Bering Sea. Grease ice forms after frazil (slush-like ice) crystals are pushed against each other. When the fragile "arms" of the crystals break and form a mixture of damaged crystals and crystal remnants, the result is grease ice—an oily-looking "ice soup" on the water surface. Its viscous nature smooths out small ocean waves. © CSA, 1998.
Northwest Passage sea ice contrasts with the coast of Baffin Island, Canada, in this ALOS-PALSAR image taken 8 March 2011. © JAXA, METI 2011Northwest Passage sea ice contrasts with the coast of Baffin Island, Canada, in this ALOS-PALSAR image taken 8 March 2011. © JAXA, METI 2011
Dipole eddies swirl in the vicinity of the Bering Sea's Sarichef Strait, between Hall and St. Matthew Islands, in this ERS-1 image acquired on 15 February 1992. The eddies are tidal generated and were observed only when frazil (slush-like ice) and grease ice acted as tracers. © ESA, 1992Dipole eddies swirl in the vicinity of the Bering Sea's Sarichef Strait, between Hall and St. Matthew Islands, in this ERS-1 image acquired on 15 February 1992. The eddies are tidal generated and were observed only when frazil (slush-like ice) and grease ice acted as tracers. © ESA, 1992
Get SAR Data

Get SAR Data

Select and download SAR data online using Vertex.

Use the ASF API for downloading SAR data via a command line.