Wetlands and Peatlands Services

We determine the subsurface 3D shape and volume of a wetland and also the stratigraphy, thickness, and properties of sub-wetland (confining) sediments.  Our method is to integrate the use of GPR and ERI surveys in conjunction with strategic coring and laboratory analyses. GPR has been used extensively to understand wetland-peatland structure but is limited where organics are highly conductive or underlying mineral soils are clay-rich due to attenuation. ERI’s value is mainly in its spatial coverage, penetration depth (sufficient to investigate sub-peat stratigraphy), and reliability. Additionally, ERI complements GPR because the latter can be interpreted more confidently with a resistivity image. ERI can be deployed in inaccessible and sensitive wetland areas on land, on water, or in boreholes.  We core organic sediments in wetlands and, based on laboratory analysis, we estimate carbon content within and for entire wetland.

The structure and permeability of sub-wetland materials strongly influences the hydrogeology of wetlands. Therefore, by understanding the hydrogeology of the confining sediments, we can assess groundwater-surface water interaction within the wetland/peatland. Hydrogeologic processes regulate the supply of solutes which controls surface-water chemistry and the supply of nutrients to plants. In particular, distinctive hydrogeologic processes shape bogs, fens, and  biogeochemical functioning that supports relatively high biodiversity and productivity.

Our deliverables include maps, cross-sections, 3D models of the hydrogeology of the wetland/peatland, geophysical data, core descriptions, pertinent analyses of core samples, and summary interpretation.