Dynamics of peat soils in the ‘Green Heart’ of the Netherlands measured by satellite radar interferometry

Floris Heuff, Gert Mulder, Freek van Leijen, Sami Samiei Esfahany, Ramon Hanssen

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractScientific

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The Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta is shaped by natural and manmade landscapes. Over many polder areas, soils are drained to be used as pastures. Around 30% of the pastures are situated on peat soils, of which many are located in the western part of the Netherlands, known as the ‘Green Heart’. Peat is composed of organic materials that oxidize and emit greenhouse gases when exposed to air as a consequence of the draining. Oxidation of peat soils results in volume reduction and subsequent subsidence. As a result, the groundwater level rises relative to the surface. Consequently, the soil needs to be dewatered to keep it sufficiently dry for farming, resulting in more oxidation, and therefore more subsidence. This process is bound to continue until the peat soils have disappeared completely. The societal cost of land subsidence due to peat soils are estimated to be 5200 million euro for urban areas and 200 million euro for peatland pastures, for a period until 2050.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberEGU2018-17443
Number of pages1
JournalGeophysical Research Abstracts (online)
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventEGU General Assembly 2018 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 8 Apr 201813 Apr 2018


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