Data are available through web services such as the CoastWatch Data Portal, THREDDS and ERDDAP.  The entry pages for these services are found by appending 'thredds' or 'erddap' to the URL.  

Service Resource Locator
Near Real-Time Search Tool

S-NPP & NOAA-20:



NOAA-20:  Not yet available


Aggregated and Per-File Views

Ice Thickness:

Ice Surface Temperature:

Ice Concentration:


Top Level Sea Ice Catalog


  • North Polar (NP06) and South Polar (SP06) are Polar Stereographic projected daily composites from the 6 CoastWatch VIIRS sectors
  • UZ, VZ, WZ, XZ, YZ, ZZ Northern high latitude CoastWatch VIIRS sectors (see sector map below)
  • UW, VW, WU, XW, YW, ZW Southern high latitude CoastWatch VIIRS sectors (see sector map below)
Map of CoastWatch regional sectors

Please acknowledge "NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch" when you use data from our site and cite the particular dataset DOI as appropriate.




VIIRS Sea Ice Concentration, Sea Ice Thickness and Ice Surface Temperature, NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch Level 3, Daily and daily 4-day rolling merge, mapped composites are nominally at native spatial resolution (~750 m), clear sky only.  

  • North Polar (NP06) and South Polar (SP06) are Polar Stereographic projected daily composites
  • Six Northern hemishere  and six Southern hemisphere high latitude CoastWatch VIIRS sectors  (see sector map below)
    • North Sectors:  UZ, VZ, WZ, XZ, YZ, ZZ
    • South Sectors:  UW, VW, WU, XW, YW, ZW
Map of CoastWatch regional sectors

Data Provider:  JPSS Center for Satellite Applications and Research Cryosphere Team

STAR Cryosphere Environmental Data Record Team Lead:  Jeff Key

Sea ice age is defined as the time that has passed since the formation of the surface layer of an ice covered region of the ocean.

Sea ice concentration is the fraction of a horizontal cell covered by ice.

NDE Enterprise Ice Age/Thickness Algorithm

One-dimensional Thermodynamic Ice Model (OTIM):

  • Based on the surface energy budget at thermo-equilibrium state
  • Independent of historical records for ice thickness and age estimation
  • Capable of retrieving daytime and nighttime sea and lake ice thickness under both clear and cloudy sky conditions

IDPS Sea Ice Concentration is an intermediate product (IP)

  • Algorithm computes ice fractions based on ice and water tie points determined from VIIRS I1 (0.64 µm) and I2 (0.865 µm) reflectance and surface temperature from the VIIRS Surface Temperature IP

Enterprise Sea Ice Concentration Algorithm

  • Use threshold tests to detect possible ice cover: Daytime and Nighttime
  • Use a tie-point algorithm to derive reflectance (temperature) for pure ice pixel, and then calculate ice concentration


Visible and InfraRed Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor aboard

Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 satellites



VIIRS:  Visible and Near IR radiometry

Sea Ice Concentration, Ice Thickness, and Sea Ice Temperature

Sample Filename

  • VXSCCW is
  • B2019201 is Year and day of year as BYYYYdoy
  • C### is number of granules in composite
  • Series of 6-digit numbers are the range of granule start times included in composite
  • UZ00, for example, is sector indicator (see Description tab for sector map) for equatorial projection
  • NP06 or SP06 is indicator for polar stereographic projection from the 6 sectors regions (North or South)
  • edgemask
  • Product Description
    • IceConc = Ice Concentration
    • IceThickness = Ice Thickness
    • IceSrfTemp = Ice Surface Temperature
Processing Level

Level 3

Spatial Coverage

Sectors (see Description tab for sector map)

or Polar Stereographic (from 90 degrees to 60 degrees either N or S)

Temporal Coverage

Daily and

Daily 4-day rolling merge


about 12 to 24 h


Nominal 750 m


Available in Geographic and Polar Stereographic



Data Provider

NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch/PolarWatch creates the Level 3 composite files from Level 2 Environmental Data Record input sourced from NOAA OSPO.

NOAA STAR Cryosphere Team (Jeff Key, Lead) developed algorithms.



NetCDF Compliant with Climate and Forecast Convention ((CF 1.4)


VIIRS, SNPP, Sea Ice, Polar Stereographic Projection

Keywords (Beta)

Wang, Xuanji  and Key, Jeffrey R., NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document:  ABI and VIIRS Ice Thickness and Age, Version 1.0, 17 December 2015.

Liu, Yinghui and Key, Jeffrey R.,, NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document:  Ice Surface Temperature, Ice Concentration, and Ice Cover, Version 1.0, 17 December 2015.

EDR Long Term-Monitoring