Raster Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM) from AVHRR, MODIS and elevation data

Raynolds, Martha K. ; Walker, Donald A.; Balser, Andrew; Bay, Christian; Campbell, Mitch; Cherosov, Mikhail M.; Daniëls, Fred J.A.; Eidesen, Pernille Bronken; Ermokhina, Ksenia A.; Frost, Gerald V.; Jedrzejek, Birgit; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Kennedy, Blair E.; Kholod, Sergei S.; Lavrinenko, Igor A.; Lavrinenko, Olga V.; Magnússon, Borgþór; Matveyeva, Nadezhda V.; Metúsalemsson, Sigmar; Nilsen, Lennart; Olthof, Ian; Pospelov, Igor N.; Pospelova, Elena B.; Pouliot, Darren; Razzhivin, Vladimir; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Šibík, Jozef; Telyatnikov, Mikhail Yu.; Troeva, Elena

Land cover maps are the basic data layer required for understanding and modeling ecological patterns and processes. The Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM), produced in 2003, has been widely used as a base map for studies in the arctic tundra biome. However, the relatively coarse resolution and vector format of the map were not compatible with many other data sets. We present a new version of the CAVM, building on the strengths of the original map, while providing a finer spatial resolution, raster format, and improved mapping. The Raster CAVM uses the legend, extent and projection of the original CAVM. The legend has 16 vegetation types, glacier, saline water, freshwater, and non-arctic land. The Raster CAVM divides the original rock-water-vegetation complex map unit that mapped the Canadian Shield into two map units, one with lichen-dominated vegetation and one with shrub-dominated vegetation. In contrast to the original hand-drawn CAVM, the raster map is based on unsupervised classifications of seventeen geographic/floristic sub-sections of the Arctic, using AVHRR and MODIS data (reflectance data and NDVI) and elevation data. The units resulting from the classification were modeled to the CAVM types using a wide variety of ancillary data. The map was reviewed by experts familiar with their particular region, including of the original authors of the CAVM from the U.S., Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway (including Svalbard) and Russia.

Detailed information about the methods can be found in the publication to which this dataset is a supplement.


In order to use these data, you must cite this data set with the following citation:

Raynolds, Martha; Walker, Donald (2019), “Raster Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map”, Mendeley Data, v1 https://dx.doi.org/10.17632/c4xj5rv6kv.1


Raynolds, Martha K.

Metadata Access

DCAT in RDF/XML-Format

DCAT in Turtle-Format

DCAT in JSON-LD-Format

APGC Dataset Metadata in JSON-Format

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Identifier DOI:10.17632/c4xj5rv6kv.1
Institute University of Alaska Fairbanks
Source https://dx.doi.org/10.17632/c4xj5rv6kv.1
Publication Date 2019-05-16
Version 1.0
Product Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map
  1. geotiff with 16 vegetation types, glacier, saline water, freshwater, and non-arctic land
Variables [Units]
  1. value: [1: B1 - Cryptogam, herb barren 2: B2a - Cryptogam/barren complex (bedrock) 3: B3 - Noncarbonate mountain complex 4: B4 - Carbonate mountain complex 5: B2b - Prostrate shrub/barren complex (bedrock) 21: G1 - Rush/grass, forb, cryptogam tundra 22: G2 - Graminoid, prostrate dwarf-shrub, forb tundra 23: G3 - Nontussock sedge, dwarf-shrub, moss tundra 24: G4 - Tussock sedge, dwarf-shrub, moss tundra 31: P1 - Prostrate dwarf-shrub, herb tundra 32: P2 - Prostrate/Hemiprostrate dwarf-shrub tundra 33: S1 - Erect dwarf-shrub tundra 34: S2 - Low shrub tundra 41: W1 - Sedge/grass, moss wetland 42: W2 - Sedge, moss, dwarf-shrub wetland 43: W3 - Sedge, moss, low-shrub wetland 91: FW - Fresh water 92: SW - Saline water 93: GL - Glacier 99: NA - Non-Arctic]
  2. count: pixel value count
Region Circum-Arctic
Spatial Reference SR-ORG:80 / Sphere_ARC_INFO_Lambert_Azimuthal_Equal_Area
Spatial Resolution 1000 m
Spatial Coverage Latitude 57 to 90, Longitude -180 to 180
Temporal Coverage
Temporal Resolution
Format Geotiff
Is Supplement To

Martha K. Raynolds, Donald A. Walker, Andrew Balser, Christian Bay, Mitch Campbell, Mikhail M. Cherosov, Fred J.A. Daniëls, Pernille Bronken Eidesen, Ksenia A. Ermokhina, Gerald V. Frost, Birgit Jedrzejek, M. Torre Jorgenson, Blair E. Kennedy, Sergei S. Kholod, Igor A. Lavrinenko, Olga V. Lavrinenko, Borgþór Magnússon, Nadezhda V. Matveyeva, Sigmar Metúsalemsson, Lennart Nilsen, Ian Olthof, Igor N. Pospelov, Elena B. Pospelova, Darren Pouliot, Vladimir Razzhivin, Gabriela Schaepman-Strub, Jozef Šibík, Mikhail Yu. Telyatnikov, Elena Troeva, A raster version of the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM), Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 232, 2019, 111297, ISSN 0034-4257, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2019.111297.

Related to

CAVM Team. 2003. Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map. (1:7,500,000 scale), Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Map No. 1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska. ISBN: 0-9767525-0-6, ISBN-13: 978-0-9767525-0-9

Dataset extent

Map tiles and data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.