Integration of geophysical and geochemical approaches to improve the understanding of peatland degradation

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


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    In degraded peatlands under oxic conditions, phenol oxidase
    can freely degrade phenolic compounds to produce conjugated
    quinones within the solid phase. These compounds are
    electrophilic and polar, and can alter the geophysical characteristics
    of the peat. Normalization of chargeability with resistivity
    is an approach that can be used to map out degraded
    peat/quinones to understanding the mechanisms associated
    with the ‘Enzymatic Latch’ hypothesis, which is thought to
    be significant in the decomposition of organic matter. Research
    is limited on this, especially on peatland sites under
    different types of degradation (drainage/overgrazing). We have
    found that degradation of peat results in the creation of polarizable
    material in the subsurface1 which can be measured by
    normalizing resistivity with time-domain induced polarization.
    As the phenolic compounds breakdown, quinones, which are
    characterized by a C=O double bond, are produced. The occurrence
    of these quinones, as well as the presence of phenolic
    compounds can be assessed using FTIR. We propose that
    the polarizable material results from the production of these
    quinones, which are electrophilic and polar, and may provide
    an insight into the occurrence of the ‘Enzyme Latch’ hypothesis
    and a measure of degradation as a result of water table decline
    and oxygen influx. By comparing normalized chargeability
    with the organic composition, this relationship can be used
    to better understand peatland degradation and restoration.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 04 Oct 2018
    Event5th International Workshop on Induced Polarization - Rutgers University , New Jersey , United States
    Duration: 03 Oct 201805 Oct 2018


    Workshop5th International Workshop on Induced Polarization
    CountryUnited States
    CityNew Jersey
    Internet address

    ID: 158952615