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Open AccessArticle

Airborne Electromagnetic and Radiometric Peat Thickness Mapping of a Bog in Northwest Germany (Ahlen-Falkenberger Moor)

1
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), 30655 Hannover, Germany
2
State Authority for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG), 30655 Hannover, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12020203
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 3 January 2020 / Accepted: 4 January 2020 / Published: 7 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Peatlands II)
Knowledge on peat volumes is essential to estimate carbon stocks accurately and to facilitate appropriate peatland management. This study used airborne electromagnetic and radiometric data to estimate the volume of a bog. Airborne methods provide an alternative to ground-based methods, which are labor intensive and unfeasible to capture large-scale (>10 km2) spatial information. An airborne geophysical survey conducted in 2004 covered large parts of the Ahlen-Falkenberger Moor, an Atlantic peat bog (39 km2) close to the German North Sea coast. The lateral extent of the bog was derived from low radiometric and elevated surface data. The vertical extent resulted from smooth resistivity models derived from 1D inversion of airborne electromagnetic data, in combination with a steepest gradient approach, which indicated the base of the less resistive peat. Relative peat thicknesses were also derived from decreasing radiation over peatlands. The scaling factor (µa = 0.28 m−1) required to transform the exposure rates (negative log-values) to thicknesses was calculated using the electromagnetic results as reference. The mean difference of combined airborne results and peat thicknesses of about 100 boreholes is very small (0.0 ± 1.1 m). Although locally some (5%) deviations (>2 m) from the borehole results do occur, the approach presented here enables fast peat volume mapping of large areas without an imperative necessity of borehole data. View Full-Text
Keywords: peatland; bog; fen; peat thickness; volume mapping; airborne electromagnetic survey; airborne gamma-ray survey; EM inversion peatland; bog; fen; peat thickness; volume mapping; airborne electromagnetic survey; airborne gamma-ray survey; EM inversion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Siemon, B.; Ibs-von Seht, M.; Frank, S. Airborne Electromagnetic and Radiometric Peat Thickness Mapping of a Bog in Northwest Germany (Ahlen-Falkenberger Moor). Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 203.

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