Project Information
The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica
Short Title:
Start Date:
End Date:
Project Website(s)
The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) is the first continental-scale digital elevation model (DEM) at a resolution of less than 10 m. REMA is created from stereophotogrammetry with submeter resolution optical, commercial satellite imagery. The higher spatial and radiometric resolutions of this imagery enable high-quality surface extraction over the low-contrast ice sheet surface. The DEMs are registered to satellite radar and laser altimetry and are mosaicked to provide a continuous surface covering nearly 95 % the entire continent. The mosaic includes an error estimate and a time stamp, enabling change measurement. Typical elevation errors are less than 1 m, as validated by the comparison to airborne laser altimetry. REMA provides a powerful new resource for Antarctic science and provides a proof of concept for generating accurate high-resolution repeat topography at continental scales.
Person Role
Howat, Ian Investigator and contact
Myoung-Jong Noh, Co-Investigator
Antarctic Earth Sciences Award # 1543501
Antarctic Glaciology Award # 1543501
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
1 (processed data)
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
PGC The Reference Model of Antarctica Not Provided exists
  1. Howat, I. M., Porter, C., Smith, B. E., Noh, M.-J., and Morin, P.: The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 13, 665–674 (doi:10.5194/tc-13-665-2019)
  2. Chartrand, A. M., & Howat, I. M. (2020). Basal Channel Evolution on the Getz Ice Shelf, West Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 125(9). (doi:10.1029/2019jf005293)
  3. Noh, M.-J., & Howat, I. M. (2019). Applications of High-Resolution, Cross-Track, Pushbroom Satellite Images With the SETSM Algorithm. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 12(10), 3885–3899. (doi:10.1109/jstars.2019.2938146)
  4. Yang, L., Gao, Y., Sun, L., Xie, Z., Yang, W., Chu, Z., … Xu, Q. (2019). Enhanced westerlies drove penguin movement at 1000 yr BP on Ardley Island, west Antarctic Peninsula. Quaternary Science Reviews, 214, 44–53. (doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.04.026)
  5. Howat, I. M., Porter, C., Smith, B. E., Noh, M.-J., & Morin, P. (2018). The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica. (doi:10.5194/tc-2018-240)
  6. Howat, I. M. (2023). Elevation Model Mosaicking from Coregistration, Adjustment and Median of Stacks (CAMS). IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 1–1. (doi:10.1109/lgrs.2023.3253539)
Platforms and Instruments

This project has been viewed 22 times since May 2019 (based on unique date-IP combinations)