Volumetric Carbon Content Calculations: A Geostatistical and Compositional Approach

J. McKinley, A. Keaney, A. Ruffell, B. Rawlins

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This study applies spatial statistical techniques including cokriging to integrate airborne geophysical (radiometric) data with ground-based measurements of peat depth and soil organic carbon (SOC) to monitor change in peat cover for carbon stock calculations. The research is part of the EU funded Tellus Border project and is supported by the INTERREG IVA development programme of the European Regional Development Fund, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). The premise is that saturated peat attenuates the radiometric signal from underlying soils and rocks. Contemporaneous ground-based measurements were collected to corroborate mapped estimates and develop a statistical model for volumetric carbon content (VCC) to 0.5 metres. Field measurements included ground penetrating radar, gamma ray spectrometry and a soil sampling methodology which measured bulk density and soil moisture to determine VCC. One aim of the study was to explore whether airborne radiometric survey data can be used to establish VCC across a region. To account for the footprint of airborne radiometric data, five cores were obtained at each soil sampling location: one at the centre of the ground radiometric equivalent sample location and one at each of the four corners 20 metres apart. This soil sampling strategy replicated the methodology deployed for the Tellus Border geochemistry survey. Two key issues will be discussed from this work. The first addresses the integration of different sampling supports for airborne and ground measured data and the second discusses the compositional nature of the VOC data.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2014
Event16th Annual Conference of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences - New Delhi, India
Duration: 17 Oct 201420 Oct 2014


Conference16th Annual Conference of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences
CityNew Delhi


  • Carbon
  • geostatistics
  • compositional data,

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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