Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS)

The Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative is an international project to inventory the world's estimated 200,000 glaciers and to create a comprehensive, global database of land ice through repeat surveys.

GLIMS uses data collected by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument aboard the Terra satellite and the NASA/USGS Landsat series of satellites, but other sources are also used. These additional sources include other satellite observations, such as observations from Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT) and EMI+, as well as maps, aerial photographs, and historical observations dating back to 1850.

This data collection's primary data product is the GLIMS Glacier Database. The glacier database includes measurements of glacier geometry, glacier area, snowlines, supraglacial lakes and rock debris, and other glacial attributes, as well as browse images. The collection includes data from approximately 70 percent of the world's 200,000 glaciers, and new glaciers are continually added.

Each polygon within the Glacier Outlines layer represents the extent of a particular glacier at a specific time, as well as other possible features of the glacier such as the extent of debris cover or the location of supra-glacial and pro-glacial lakes.

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