Spatial variability in biogenic gas accumulations in peat soils is revealed by ground penetrating radar (GPR)

  • Comas X
  • Slater L
  • Reeve A
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Abstract

We performed surface and borehole ground penetrating radar (GPR) tests, together with moisture probe measurements and direct gas sampling to detect areas of biogenic gas accumulation in a northern peatland. The main findings are: (1) shadow zones (signal scattering) observed in surface GPR correlate with areas of elevated CH4 and CO2 concentration; (2) high velocities in zero offset profiles and lower water content inferred from moisture probes correlate with surface GPR shadow zones; (3) zero offset profiles depict depth variable gas accumulation from 0–10% by volume; (4) strong reflectors may represent confining layers restricting upward gas migration. Our results have implications for defining the spatial distribution, volume and movement of biogenic gas in peatlands at multiple scales.

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