During the summer of 1993, a field program was conducted to collect several shallow firn cores from two locations in the southern region of the Greenland ice sheet. Stratigraphic evidence of melt from these cores was used for comparison with satellite-derived indications of melt.
The shallow firn cores were examined for stratigraphic evidence of past melt events and were sampled for oxygen-isotope analysis to delineate the annual accumulation layers in the snowpack. The relative intensity of each year’s summer melt episode was compared to the corresponding melt frequency derived from microwave emissions. This comparison demonstrates that a linkage between the stratigraphic record and microwave data can be established. Both data sets indicate that there was less melt during the late 1970s and early 1980s than during the late 1980s, in general agreement with climate observations.