Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 686–696 | Cite as

AntarcticaLC2000: The new Antarctic land cover database for the year 2000

  • FengMing Hui
  • Jing Kang
  • Yan Liu
  • Xiao ChengEmail author
  • Peng Gong
  • Fang Wang
  • Zhan Li
  • YuFang Ye
  • ZiQi Guo
Research Paper


Antarctica plays a key role in global energy balance and sea level change. It has been conventionally viewed as a whole ice body with high albedo in General Circulation Models or Regional Climate Models and the differences of land cover has usually been overlooked. Land cover in Antarctica is one of the most important drivers of changes in the Earth system. Detailed land cover information over the Antarctic region is necessary as spatial resolution improves in land process models. However, there is a lack of complete Antarctic land cover dataset derived from a consistent data source. To fill this data gap, we have produced a database named Antarctic Land Cover Database for the Year 2000 (AntarcticaLC2000) using Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) data acquired around 2000 and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) images acquired in the austral summer of 2003/2004 according to the criteria for the 1:100000-scale. Three land cover types were included in this map, separately, ice-free rocks, blue ice, and snow/firn. This classification legend was determined based on a review of the land cover systems in Antarctica (LCCSA) and an analysis of different land surface types and the potential of satellite data. Image classification was conducted through a combined usage of computer-aided and manual interpretation methods. A total of 4067 validation sample units were collected through visual interpretation in a stratified random sampling manner. An overall accuracy of 92.3% and the Kappa coefficient of 0.836 were achieved. Results show that the areas and percentages of ice-free rocks, blue ice, and snow/firn are 73268.81 km2 (0.537%), 225937.26 km2 (1.656%), and 13345460.41 km2 (97.807%), respectively. The comparisons with other different data proved a higher accuracy of our product and a more advantageous data quality. These indicate that AntarcticaLC2000, the new land cover dataset for Antarctica entirely derived from satellite data, is a reliable product for a broad spectrum of applications.


Antarctica Land cover Remote sensing 


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We thank the LIMA mission at the U.S. Geological Survey for providing the ETM+ scenes, the National Snow and Ice Data Center for providing the MODIS mosaic data and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research for providing the Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica and the Antarctic Digital Database. This work was supported by the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration, National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2012CB957704), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41676176 & 41676182), and National High-tech R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2008AA09Z117).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • FengMing Hui
    • 1
    • 6
  • Jing Kang
    • 1
  • Yan Liu
    • 1
    • 6
  • Xiao Cheng
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Peng Gong
    • 2
    • 3
    • 6
  • Fang Wang
    • 1
  • Zhan Li
    • 1
    • 4
  • YuFang Ye
    • 1
    • 5
  • ZiQi Guo
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, College of Global Change and Earth System ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Centre for Earth System ScienceTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital EarthChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.School for the EnvironmentUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  5. 5.Institute of Environmental PhysicsUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  6. 6.Joint Center for Global Change StudiesBeijingChina

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