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A review of ground-penetrating radar studies related to peatland stratigraphy with a case study on the determination of peat thickness in a northern boreal fen in Quebec, Canada.

Proulx-McInnis, Sandra; St-Hilaire, André; Rousseau, Alain N.; Jutras, Sylvain (2013). A review of ground-penetrating radar studies related to peatland stratigraphy with a case study on the determination of peat thickness in a northern boreal fen in Quebec, Canada. Progress in Physical Geography , vol. 37 , nº 6. p. 767-786. DOI: 10.1177/0309133313501106.

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Résumé

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a non-intrusive geophysical observation method based on propagation and reflection of high-frequency electromagnetic waves in the shallow subsurface. The vertical cross-sectional images obtained allow the identification of thickness and lithologic horizons of different media, without destruction. Over the last decade, several studies have demonstrated the potential of GPR. This paper presents a review of recent GPR applications to peatlands, particularly to determine peat stratigraphy. An example study of acquisition and comparison of peatland soil thickness of a fen-dominated watershed located in the James Bay region of Quebec, using (1) a meter stick linked to a GPS RTK and (2) a GSSI GPR, is given. A coefficient of determination (r(2) ) of 56% was obtained between the ordinary krigings performed on data gathered using both techniques. Disparities occurred mainly in the vicinity of ponds which can be explained by the attenuation of GPR signal in open water. Despite these difficulties - the higher time required for analysis and the error margin - it seems more appropriate to use a GPR, instead of a graduated rod linked to a GPS, to measure the peat depths on a site like the one presented in this study. Manual measurements, which are user-dependent in the context of variable mineral substrate densities and with the presence of obstacles in the substrate, may be more subjective.

Type de document:
Mots-clés libres: geomorphology; geophysics; GPR; ground-penetrating radar; peatland; stratigraphy
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 06 déc. 2016 21:42
Dernière modification: 06 déc. 2016 21:42
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/3492

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