Spatial statistics to estimate peat thickness using airborne radiometric data

Antoinette Keaney, Jennifer McKinley, Conor Graham, Martin Robinson, Alastair Ruffell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Soil carbon stores are a major component of the annual returns required by EU governments to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Peat has a high proportion of soil carbon due to the relatively high carbon density of peat and organic-rich soils. For this reason it has become increasingly important to measure and model soil carbon stores and changes in peat stocks to facilitate the management of carbon changes over time. The approach investigated in this research evaluates the use of airborne geophysical (radiometric) data to estimate peat thickness using the attenuation of bedrock geology radioactivity by superficial peat cover. Remotely sensed radiometric data are validated with ground peat depth measurements combined with non-invasive geophysical surveys. Two field-based case studies exemplify and validate the results. Variography and kriging are used to predict peat thickness from point measurements of peat depth and airborne radiometric data and provide an estimate of uncertainty in the predictions. Cokriging, by assessing the degree of spatial correlation between recent remote sensed geophysical monitoring and previous peat depth models, is used to examine changes in peat stocks over time. The significance of the coregionalisation is that the spatial cross correlation between the remote and ground based data can be used to update the model of peat depth. The result is that by integrating remotely sensed data with ground geophysics, the need is reduced for extensive ground-based monitoring and invasive peat depth measurements. The overall goal is to provide robust estimates of peat thickness to improve estimates of carbon stocks. The implications from the research have a broader significance that promotes a reduction in the need for damaging onsite peat thickness measurement and an increase in the use of remote sensed data for carbon stock estimations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalSpatial Statistics
Volume5
Early online date05 Jul 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Carbon changes
  • geostatistics
  • gamma-ray spectrometry
  • kriging
  • cokriging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computers in Earth Sciences

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  • Projects

    R6774GGY: TELLUS Border

    McKinley, J. & Ruffell, A.

    01/08/2010 → …

    Project: Research

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