MATLAB Examples

rtopo2 documentation

The rtopo2 function plots Antarctic data from RTopo-2 (Schaffer et al. 2016, see reference below) in projected polar stereographic coordinates.



h = rtopo2(...)


rtopo2(dataset) plots any of the RTopo-2 datasets in a polar stereographic map. The dataset can be any of the following:

  • 'coast' this is equivalent to the grounding line in many other datasets.
  • 'isf' ice shelf front, what some might call the coast line.
  • 'bed' bed elevations relative to the geoid.
  • 'base' ice base elevations relative to the geoid.
  • 'surface' ice surface elevations relative to the geoid.
  • 'wct' water column thickness taken as base-bed.
  • 'mask' mask values numbered 0 through 3 as described below.
  • 'sourcedraft' source of ice draft data as described below.
  • 'sourcebathy' source of elevation data as described below.

rtopo2(...,PropertyName,PropertyValue,...) formats coast lines with marker properties.

rtopo2(...,'km') plots in polar stereographic kilometers rather than meters.

h = rtopo2(...) returns a handle of the plotted object.

Data sources and mask values

Mask values:

  • 0. ocean
  • 1. grounded ice
  • 2. floating ice
  • 3. bare land

Data source values:

  1. World Ocean bathymetry GEBCO_2014 (Weatherall et al., 2015)
  2. Southern Ocean bathymetry IBCSO (Arndt et al., 2013)
  3. Arctic Ocean bathymetry IBCAOv3 (Jakobsson et al., 2012)
  4. Antarctic ice sheet/shelf surface height Bedmap2 and thickness and bedrock topography (Fretwell et al., 2013)
  5. Greenland ice sheet/glacier surface height Morlighem et al. (2014) (M-2014) and thickness and bedrock topography
  6. Fjord and shelf bathymetry close to the Bamber et al. (2013) (B-2013) Greenland coast
  7. Bathymetry on Northeast Greenland Arndt et al. (2015) (NEG_DBM) continental shelf
  8. Bathymetry in several narrow Greenland fjords artificial, see Merging strategy and Data and on parts of the Greenland continental shelf corrections in Sect. 2.2.3 for details
  9. Bathymetry for Getz and western Abbot Ice ALBMAP (Le Brocq et al., 2010) Shelf cavities
  10. Bathymetry for Fimbulisen cavity Nøst (2004), Smedsrud et al. (2006)
  11. Ice thickness for Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier DTU (Seroussi et al., 2011) and Zachariæ Isstrøm Operation Icebridge (Allen et al., 2010, updated 2015) Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Mayer et al. (2000)
  12. Contour of iceberg A-23A in Weddell Sea Paul et al. (2015)


Because the RTopo-2 dataset is so large, the rtopo2 function requires a map to be initialized before plotting. It's a way of forcing a small region.

mapzoomps('george vi ice shelf','mapwidth',1000,'inset','ne')

Citing these datasets

If you use this dataset and Antarctic Mapping Tools, please cite the following:

Schaffer, Janin; Timmermann, Ralph; Arndt, Jan Erik; Kristensen, Steen Savstrup; Mayer, Christoph; Morlighem, Mathieu; Steinhage, Daniel (2016): A global, high-resolution data set of ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and ocean bathymetry. Earth System Science Data, 8(2), 543-557, doi:10.5194/essd-8-543-2016 and doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.856844

Greene, C.A., Gwyther, D.E. and Blankenship, D.D., 2016. Antarctic Mapping Tools for Matlab. Computers & Geosciences.

Author Info

The RTopo-2 Matlab functions and supporting documentation were written by Chad A. Greene of the University of Texas at Austin, November 2016.