Using Peatland Surface Motion (Bog Breathing) to monitor PeatlandAction Sites

Christopher Marshall, Andrew Bradley, Roxane Andersen, David J. Large

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Interferometric satellite radar (InSAR) provides a means of measuring peatland surface motion continuously and is not limited by scale or cloud cover. Previous InSAR investigations demonstrate the potential for InSAR to quantify surface motion and hence peatland condition. Time series of peatland surface motion has been related to precipitation, water level and vegetation composition. Validation in the Flow Country during the NERC funded InSAR ToPS project has also shown that ground motion derived from InSAR causally relates to motion on the ground. Using the Intermittent Small Baseline Subset (ISBAS) data processing approach, allows us to gain excellent coverage over forested and rural areas. This is a key step in being able to access the full spatial and temporal coverage of InSAR required to determine continuous characterisation of peatland surface motion.

A reliable national scale approach to measuring peat condition based on InSAR has the potential to provide: a better estimate of the amount and distribution of peatland and associated carbon inventories; a means of assessing the impact of investment in peatland restoration; and the potential to identify areas at high-risk of peat instability, fire and erosion. This project seeks to evaluate these applications over selected peatland sites in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherScottish Natural Heritage
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameNatureScot Research Report 1269


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