MATLAB Examples


This function plots the grounding line or hydrostatic line identified by the Antarctic Surface Accumulation and Ice Discharge (ASAID) project.

Chad Greene's Antarctic Mapping Tools are required.



h = asaid(...)


asaid('mapvar') maps any one of these map variables:

  • 'gl' grounding line (optional linestyle or markerstyle formatting).
  • 'hl' hydrostatic line of continent and islands (markerstyle formatting).
  • 'islandgl' rounding line of islands (markerstyle formatting).

asaid(...,'Property',PropertyValue) specifies line or marker properties.

asaid(...,'ps') plots data in polar stereographic units of meters instead of georeferenced lat/lons. If a Mapping Toolbox license is not detected, the 'ps' option is automatically selected. If you have a Mapping Toolbox license but you want data plotted in ps units, simply include the 'ps' tag.

h = asaid(...) returns a handle h of the plotted objects.


To install, simply run asaid_install. The installation script downloads data if you have not downloaded the data already. If download is necessary, the installation script might take five or six minutes to do download and reformat the ~1GB of data.

Exmaple 1: A simple grounding line

A very simple example which requires only one line of code to plot the ASAID grounding line:

asaid gl

And we can add the grounding line of what ASAID deems islands. Let's make them red:


Example 2: Polar Stereographic units

If you would rather plot in polar stereographic meters (true latitude 71°S), include the 'ps' tag. If you do not have Matlab's Mapping Toolbox, asaid chooses the 'ps' tag automatically. Here's what it will look like:

hold on
xlabel('easting (meters)')
ylabel('northing (meters)')
box off

Example 3: Comparison of grounding lines

This example was inspired by Figure 5 of Brunt et al.'s (2011): Here we overlay asaid lines on a modismoa image and compare to a bedmap2 interpretation of the grounding line.

modismoa('foundation ice stream',250,'inset','northeast')

Citing ASAID data

If you use ASAID data, cite the following:

Bindschadler, R., H. Choi, A. Wichlacz, R. Bingham, J. Bohlander, K. Brunt, H. Corr, R. Drews, H. Fricker, M. Hall, R. Hindmarsh, J. Kohler, L. Padman, W. Rack, G. Rotschky, S. Urbini, P. Vornberger, and N. Young. 2011. Getting around Antarctica: New High-Resolution Mappings of the Grounded and Freely- Floating Boundaries of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Created for the International Polar Year. The Cryosphere Discussions, 5, 183-227. doi:10.5194/tcd-5-183-2011.

Author Info

Chad A. Greene, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin. 2013.