Skip to main content

Multi-year mosaics of Antarctic ice motion from satellite radar interferometry: 1995 to 2022


Rignot, Eric (2023), Multi-year mosaics of Antarctic ice motion from satellite radar interferometry: 1995 to 2022, Dryad, Dataset,


Ice motion and ice boundary are critical information for ice sheet models that project ice evolution in a warming climate. We present four historical, continent-wide, maps of Antarctic ice motion for time period 1995-2022. The results reveal no change in the interior regions, block rotation and rift propagation along ice shelf fronts, and widespread glacier speedup that propagates from 10 km's to 100 km's inland. Speedup affects the entire drainage of the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) sector, the entire west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula down to GeorgeVI Ice Shelf, the east coast down to Larsen C Ice Shelf,  the Getz Ice Shelf, Hull and Land glaciers in West Antarctica;  Matusevitch, Ninnis and Mertz glaciers, glaciers in Porpoise Bay and Vincennes Bay, Denman Glacier  in Wilkes Land, and Robert, Wilmaand Rayner glaciers in Enderby Land, East Antarctica, which we attribute to faster melting by warmer ocean waters. 


The SAR data employed in this study have been acquired under the umbrella of the Polar Space Task Group (PSTG), which was established under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Executive Council Panel of Experts on Polar Observations Research and Services. The group mandate was to provide coordination across International Space Agencies to facilitate acquisition and distribution of fundamental satellite datasets in support of polar science. Independently, the Landsat Science team independently provided the Landsat project at the United States Geological Survey with specific recommendations for ice sheet wide acquisitions for Landsat-8.

For the 1995-2001 map, we employ ERS-1/2 and RADARSAT-1 SAR data. For the 2007-2009 map, we employed ERS-2 SAR, Envisat ASAR, ALOS PALSAR and RADARSAT-2. For the 2014-2016 and 2020-2022 maps, we employed S1-a/b, RADARSAT-2, and Landsat-8 data. 

The processing algorithms is described in

"Mouginot, J., Rignot, E., Scheuchl, B., & Millan, R. (2017). Comprehensive annual ice sheet velocity mapping using Landsat-8, Sentinel-1, and RADARSAT-2 data. Remote Sensing, 9(4), 364."

The gridded velocity data is posted at 450 m. These data are accompanied by time-dependent shape files of the ice front and grounding line positions derived from optical and SAR data, error maps for the velocity products, and amplitude imagery. The error is a weighted average of the nominal error in speed from each sensor. The products are distributed in NetCDF format in Polar Stereographic (ESPG 3031) projection with true scale at 71 degree South. 


National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Award: 80NSSC18M0083