GreenhousePeat: a model linking CO 2 emissions from subsiding peatlands to changing groundwater levels

Koster, Kay; Frumau, Arnoud; Stafleu, Jan; Dijkstra, Joris; Hensen, Arjan; Velzeboer, Ilona; Esteves Martins, Joana; Zaadnoordijk, Willem Jan

Oxidation of organic matter in peat above the phreatic groundwater table causes subsidence and carbon dioxide (inline-formulaCO2) emissions. Because 25 % of the Netherlands has shallow peat layers in its subsurface, it is essential for Dutch policy makers and stakeholders to have reliable information on present day and near future inline-formulaCO2 emissions under changes in groundwater levels. Furthermore, it is important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in view of international agreements.

We are developing GreenhousePeat: a nationwide model that synthesizes information on peat organic carbon content, land subsidence, and inline-formulaCO2 emission monitoring to model present-day and future inline-formulaCO2 emissions from subsiding peatlands.

Here, we discuss the approach and input data of GreenhousePeat. GreenhousePeat is based on a UNFCCC approved model to predict inline-formulaCO2 emissions, albeit based on new input data: 3-D organic matter maps, nationwide subsidence rates, and ranges in oxidation fraction. We validate model outcomes with previously documented inline-formulaCO2 emissions measured at four different locations. We found that for one site the upper bound of the model reproduces the measured inline-formulaCO2 emissions. The modelled emissions at two sites have a relative deviation of approximately 73 % to 29 % from the measured emissions. Whereas one site is a net inline-formulaCO2 sink, although low emissions were modelled. Finally, we conclude on the suitability of the model for inline-formulaCO2 emission forecasting and suggest improvements by incorporating groundwater level information and land use type.



Koster, Kay / Frumau, Arnoud / Stafleu, Jan / et al: GreenhousePeat: a model linking CO2 emissions from subsiding peatlands to changing groundwater levels. 2020. Copernicus Publications.


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