MATLAB Examples

cryosat2_interp documentation

The cryosat2_interp function interpolates the Helm et al. CryoSat-2 surface elevation DEM to any geo- or polar stereographic coordinates.


Requirements and Installation

This function requires Antarctic Mapping Tools for Matlab found here:

There are two options for installation:

  1. You can download the data manually here:, unzip the two Antarctic folders containing .tif files, and make sure Matlab knows how to find the folders by adding a path to the folder, or you can
  1. Simply run cryosat2_interp and if it cannot find the datasets it will try to download the data automatically. It will ask for your permission, of course. The automatic download option is sensitive to firewall settings.


zi = cryosat2_interp(lati,loni)
zi = cryosat2_interp(xi,yi)
zi = cryosat2_interp(...,'uncertainty')
zi = cryosat2_interp(...,InterpolationMethod)


zi = cryosat2_interp(lati,loni) returns surface elevations relative to the WGS-84 ellipsoid at geo coordinates lati,loni in decimal degrees.

zi = cryosat2_interp(xi,yi) returns surface elevations relative to the WGS-84 ellipsoid at xi,yi which are locations in polar stereographic meters with a true latitude of 71 S.

zi = cryosat2_interp(...,'uncertainty') interpolates the uncertainty grid rather than the surface elevation grid.

zi = cryosat2_interp(...,InterpolationMethod) specifies any interpolation method supported by Matlab's inbuilt interp2 function. Default interpolation method is linear.


For a 500 km wide grid at 500 m resolution centered on Wilkins Ice Shelf:

[lat,lon] = psgrid('wilkins ice shelf',500,0.5);
Z = cryosat2_interp(lat,lon);

Now map it. Start with mapzoomps and specify an inset map in the lower-left-hand or 'sw' for southwest corner. Plot the surface with pcolorps, add relief shading with a gain of 4 coming from the upper left-hand corner (225 degrees) at an elevation angle of 45 degrees, and add a scalebar. Also set axis tight so the frame will properly fill the map:

mapzoomps('wilkins ice shelf','sw')
shadem(4,[225 45])
axis tight
xlabel 'eastings (m)'
ylabel 'northins (m)'

Citing CryoSat-2 data

If you use CryoSat-2 data, please cite the following:

Helm, Veit; Humbert, Angelika; Miller, Heinz (2014): Elevation and elevation change of Greenland and Antarctica derived from CryoSat-2. The Cryosphere, 8(4), 1539-1559, doi:10.5194/tc-8-1539-2014

Author Info

This function was written by Chad A. Greene of the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas in Austin April 2016.