Monitoring tropical peatland degradation and subsidence with InSAR

We propose to use geodetic data from InSAR to map subsidence at three peatland locations in Borneo. Maps of subsidence in peatlands reveal patterns of CO2 emissions because long-­‐term subsidence of peatlands is driven by fire and aerobic decomposition. Together, fire and aerobic decomposition in tropical peats release hundreds of megatonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year. We will measure subsidence with InSAR at three locations in Borneo: Belait (Brunei), Baram (Sarawak) and Klias (Sabah). These locations are all suffering rapid subsidence from fires and decomposition in peat soils. We will ground-­‐truth estimates of subsidence and carbon emissions locally using campaign GPS, bulk density, and carbon concentration measurements. Our science questions address the use of InSAR to test landscape-­‐scale predictions of CO2 emissions following drainage of tropical peatlands.

Project Years: 

2016, 2017, 2018