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Arctic sea ice freeboard and thickness from data of the European radar altimeter CryoSat-2 is generated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in the winter month (October-April). The resulting data products are publicly available under a  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. Please read the documentation below for data access and formats.

Sea ice thickness information from CryoSat-2 is available from two data streams

  1. near-real time (nrt) data with a delay of 2 days
  2. reprocessed data with a delay of 33 days

How to cite

Hendricks, S. and Ricker, R. (2020): Product User Guide & Algorithm Specification: AWI CryoSat-2 Sea Ice Thickness (version 2.3),

Data Access

Access options for the AWI CryoSat-2 sea ice thickness product.

Data Content & Format

Distributed data processing levels  are the daily trajectory summary (l2p) and weekly/monthly gridded data (l3c). The content of products based on the near-real time and reprocessed input version are identical and marked by the timeliness tag in the filename and global attributes of the netCDF files.

Version History

Sea ice products are continuously updated to include scientific and technical improvements. We aim for a yearly update cycle for the AWI CryoSat-2 sea-ice data, which is implemented at the start of the Arctic winter season on Oct. 1st. An update of the algorithm includes a re-processing of the full CryoSat-2 data record.


Cryosat-2 Level-1 data is courtesy of the European Space Agency
ESA CryoSat website
ESA CryoSat-2 Wiki

Sea ice concentration and type data is courtesy of the Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (OSI-SAF)

Global mean sea surface products (DTU15/DTU18) is courtesy of the Danish National Space Institute (DTU Space)

Snow depth from AMSR2 is courtesy of the Institute for Environmental Physics of the University Bremen

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