Case Study:

Peatland Condition Monitoring, Scotland


Peat holds approximately one third of the world’s soil-based stores of carbon and plays an important role in preventing flooding and providing local communities with clean water.  However, peat soils are degraded by draining, grazing livestock and forestry.


Terra Motion Limited are working closely with the University of Nottingham to see if APSIS© maps of subsidence across peatland areas could be used as a cheap method to identify degraded areas of peatland for targeted restoration programmes, as well as being a useful tool to monitor changes in peat soil health over time.


Below shows the result of a two-year Sentinel-1 APSIS© survey of the Bad a Cheo forest reserve in the Flow Country, NE Scotland.  The Flow Country is the largest expanse of blanket bog in Europe, covering an area of some 4000 square kilometres.  Bad a Cheo is situated on wet, infertile blanket bog and contains areas of afforestation that have recently been cleared and an operating wind farm.  In this image, we can see that the afforested area continues to collapse, even after clearance, and we can note the subsidence along the wind farm road network which may indicate an effect on the peat hydrology.


Optical image (left) and APSIS© survey (right) of Bad a Cheo, Scotland.