Greenland DEM - Greenland Mapping Project (GIMP)

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arctic gimp greenland nasa polar


This Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is constructed from a combination of ASTER and SPOT-5 DEM's for the ice sheet periphery and margin (i.e. below the equilbrium line elevation) south of approximately 82.5°N and AVHRR photoclinometry in the ice sheet interior and far north (Scambos and Haran, 2002).

SPOT-5 DEM's were produced and distributed as part of the Spot5 stereoscopic survey of Polar Ice: Reference Images & Topographies (SPIRIT) project (Korona et al., 2009). Ocean surfaces were masked using the GIMP Land Classification mask and replaced with the CNES CLS11 mean sea surface height (Schaeffer et al., 2012).


  • All land elevation data is horizontally and vertically registered to average ICESat elevations for the 2003-2009 time period, and therefore the DEM has a nominal date of 2007, although care must be taken when using the DEM in areas of rapid change, such as major outlet glaciers south of 70°0N.
  • The DEM has a resolution of 30 m, although the "true" resolution of the DEM will vary from 40 m in areas of SPOT-5 coverage (see Korona et al. 2009) to 500 m in areas of photoclinometry.
  • The ice-sheet-wide root-mean-squared validation error relative to ICESat is +/-10 m, rangining from close to +/- 1 m over most ice surfaces to +/- 30 m in areas of high relief.

General documentation



Name Units Pixel Size Description
elevation m 30 meters


Terms of Use

Terms of Use

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the given citation.


  • Howat, I.M., A. Negrete, B.E. Smith, 2014, The Greenland Ice Mapping Project (GIMP) land classification and surface elevation datasets, The Cryosphere, 8, 1509-1518, doi:10.5194/tc-8-1509-2014 article pdf


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Code Editor (JavaScript)

var dataset = ee.Image('OSU/GIMP/DEM');
var elevation ='elevation');
var elevationVis = {
  min: 0.0,
  max: 2000.0,
Map.setCenter(-41.0, 76.0, 4);
Map.addLayer(elevation, elevationVis, 'Elevation');
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