Alaska Satellite Facility
Delivering Remote Sensing Data Since 1991

Find Sea Ice Data: Now GIS Compatible!

Sea ice is a key indicator of environmental change and is also a force to be reckoned with for humans navigating, drilling, or fishing in polar waters. At the northern end of the planet, where the Arctic’s oceans are largely constrained within landmasses — and the impact of climate change is more dramatic than anywhere else — sea ice serves as a particularly significant laboratory for monitoring our changing planet.

The data and imagery available from the Alaska Satellite Facility cover a period from 1995 to 2011. They include more than 11 years of near-uninterrupted, three-day radar snapshots of Arctic and Southern Ocean's sea ice as it goes through dramatic change. Users may access:

  • A dataset of small-scale kinematics and deformation processed by tracking sea ice on a high-resolution grid. 
  • The original synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images.


This dataset has already contributed significantly to sea-ice science in:

  • new approaches for modeling the mechanical behavior of sea ice and the validation of these models;
  • characterization of sub-daily ice motion;
  • description of the seasonal and regional variability of sea-ice deformation;
  • validation of ICESat freeboard algorithms; and
  • estimates of sea-ice exchange between the Arctic and Southern Oceans and peripheral seas. 

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.