GPR surveys

Peat pipes were measured at two different frequencies using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), either in continuous (all terrain vehicle; DMS) or local (manual; Birkbeck) mode across recorded transects using GPS.

Although peat pipes appear to be only infrequent at our sites (based on initial visual observations), they do provide a mostly hidden underground export route for water and dissolved or particulate carbon (DOC, POC).

Peat pipe (partly collapsed) with some gully erosion at the Forest of Bowland

In August 2012 we surveyed all control and treatment sub-catchments with automated GPR equipment with both 100 and 250 MHz antenna, criss-crossing over the sub-catchments and alongside one side of the monitoring plots. 

Although these surveys did not provide peat pipes at a high enough resolution to be useful, they did provided large scale peat depth information to enable peat carbon stock estimates. 

Automated peat depth and pipe survey by DMS at the Forest of Bowland
We also manually surveyed the individual plots at control and treatment sites with GPR (Charles Bristow; Birkbeck, London). For this we used a 200 MHz antenna to survey the entire plot perimeters at 10-20 cm steps, to capture peat pipes as well as a detailed peat depth profile. 

The same locations will were re-surveyed in 2016 using the same equipment. Both peat pipes and peat depth could be recorded at high enough resolution.

Manual Peat depth and pipe survey by Charles Bristow at the Forest of Bowland