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Amélie Marie Beucher

Using geophysical sensors to map and improve the characterization of peatlands in Denmark

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Natural peatlands represent important ecosystems. Global peat coverage is estimated at 3% out of the total land area, where one-third of global soil carbon (C) is contained. Additionally, the capability of peatlands to either sequester (sink) or release C (source) to the atmosphere renders them important under a changing climate. However, historical, and current anthropogenic alterations such as their excavation for fuel, and drainage for agriculture have resulted in the reduction of global peatland coverage. Following national commitments to reduce the Danish CO2 emissions by 70% in 2030 has made it necessary to rewet the majority of Danish agricultural peatlands and hence, map and quantify CO2 emissions from peatlands. To achieve this, characterization of the present status and extent of peatlands in Demark warrants the acquisition of detailed information of peat properties mainly thickness, density, and type. Nevertheless, the conventional approach for surveying peatlands is not only laborious, time-consuming and invasive but may result in large measurement uncertainties due to the obstruction of probes by artefacts like buried drainage pipes. Geophysical sensors may provide a rapid, cost-effective and non-invasive means for improved mapping and characterization of peatlands. Here, we present preliminary results from a selected peatland in Denmark where we combine gamma radiometric and electromagnetic induction techniques to augment the manually measured thickness at a few discrete locations to map peat thickness. The three-dimensional characterization of peat extent will improve our knowledge on C stock and facilitate policy advising to decide on different management scenarios to prevent their further decline.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearMar 2022
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Event2nd Agrogeophysics seminar - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 10 Mar 202211 Mar 2022


Conference2nd Agrogeophysics seminar
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