SciFest National Final 2023

Stand 11

Ireland’s Carbon Sinks – Remote Sensing for Monitoring Peatland Restoration

Student Jack Shannon
School Clongowes Wood College, Kilcock Road, Clane, Co. Kildare, W91 DN40
Teacher Yvonne Nolan
Venue DCU

This study aimed to utilize remote sensing techniques for monitoring peatland restoration in Ireland. Two distinct peatland sites, Clara bog and Keelbanada bog, were investigated to assess the effectiveness of multispectral, LiDAR, SAR, and InSAR analyses in tracking restoration progress and degradation.

Multispectral analysis, employing readily accessible Copernicus and Sentinel Hub software, proved efficient in identifying changes in vegetation cover and moisture content in both restored and degraded areas. LiDAR analysis can be used for high-resolution elevation data, facilitating the identification of surface subsidence in degraded zones. Additionally, SAR analysis can be used to detect changes in land use and subsidence, while InSAR analysis effectively monitored land height alterations over time.

The InSAR analysis of Clara bog revealed promising restoration efforts on the East side, with a mean land growth velocity of +5.5 mm/year, while the West side indicated ongoing degradation at a mean velocity of -9.4 mm/year. Keelbanada bog's multispectral analysis accurately identified reductions in moisture content and vegetation, indicative of rapid degradation.

In conclusion, remote sensing techniques encompassing multispectral, LiDAR, SAR, and InSAR analyses offer a dependable and cost-effective approach for monitoring peatland restoration and degradation in Ireland. These methodologies supply regular and precise data on restoration progress and degradation areas, thus enhancing restoration planning and management.

This study underscores the potential of remote sensing techniques for monitoring peatland restoration or degradation at multiple scales, contributing to Ireland's commitment to the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework by facilitating comprehensive assessments of progress towards restoration and carbon sequestration targets.

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SciFest National Final 2023
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