Publisert 21.11.2016 , sist oppdatert 08.03.2021

Copernicus Glacier Service

Copernicus bretjeneste (page in Norwegian)


Glaciers are sensitive to climate change and are changing rapidly due to global warming. Monitoring these changes is crucial for understanding the current health, changes and future development of glaciers. There are also numerous hazards associated with glaciers, such as glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFS), serac falls and crevasses that pose a risk to both infrastructure and people. The goal of the Copernicus glacier service is to monitor glaciers in mainland Norway and on Svalbard using the Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus programme. The project primarily utilizes images from Sentinel-2, with supplemental images from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-1. The Norwegian water resources and energy directorate (NVE) and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) are responsible for monitoring glaciers in mainland Norway and Svalbard, respectively.


Read more about the project results and use of Sentinel imagery in our final report that summarises the work done from 2016-2021:

Andreassen, L.M. (ed.), G. Moholdt, A. Kääb, A. Messerli, T. Nagy and S.H. Winsvold. 2021.
Monitoring glaciers in mainland Norway and Svalbard using Sentinel. NVE Rapport 3-2021, 94 p.

See also project presentation (17 February 2021) and all project related publications

Glacier products

We have tested using Sentinel for the following glacier products: 

Glacier outline, area and calving front

Glacier surface type and snow line

Glacier velocity

Glacier crevasses and surge

Glacier lakes

Visualization of data

NVE has developed the expert tool Xgeo for viewing Sentinel imagery and glacier products. A selection of glacier products can also be visualized in NVE’s and NPI’s web map services. Read more about these web-based visualizations here.   

Sentinel-2 image of glaciers in the Kongsfjorden area, Svalbard, 2 August 2016.

Liss Marie Andreassen, Section for glaciers, ice and snow, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Postbox 5091, Majorstua, 0301 Oslo, Norway. Project leader. (lma 'at'

Geir Moholdt, Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram centre, Postbox 6606 Langnes, 9296 Tromsø, Norway

Andreas Kääb, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Postbox 1047 Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway



The Project Copernicus Glacier Service ('Copernicus bretjeneste' in Norwegian) is a Cooperation between the Norwegian water resources and energy directorate (NVE), the Norwegian Polar Insitute and the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo. The service will mainly use data from the Sentinel-2 satellite in the Copernicus-programme. The Project is partly funded by the Norwegian Space Centre through Copernicus.