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Title: Alaska Peatland Map (2019-2021)
Peatlands cover 3% of the global land surface, yet store 25% of the world’s soil organic carbon. These organic-rich soils are widespread across permafrost regions, representing nearly 18% of land surface and storing between 500 and 600 petagrams of carbon (PgC). Peat (i.e., partially decomposed thick organic layers) accumulates due to the imbalance between plant production and decomposition often within saturated, nutrient deficient, and acidic soils, which limit decomposition. As warmer and drier conditions become more prevalent across northern ecosystems, the vulnerability of peatland soils may increase with the susceptibility of peat-fire ignitions, yet the distribution of peatlands across Alaska remains uncertain. Here we develop a new high-resolution (20 meter (m) resolution) wall-to-wall ~1.5 million square kilometer (km2) peatland map of Alaska, using a combination of Sentinel-1 (Dual-polarized Synthetic Aperture Radar), Sentinel-2 (Multi-Spectral Imager), and derivatives from the Arctic Digital Elevation Model (ArcticDEM). Machine learning classifiers were trained and tested using peat cores, ground observations, and sub-meter resolution image interpretation, which was spatially constrained by a peatland suitability model that described the extent of terrain suitable for peat accumulation. This product identifies peatlands in Polar, Boreal, and Maritime ecoregions in Alaska to cover 26,842 (4.6%), 69,783 (10.4%), and 13,506 (5.3%) km2, respectively.  more » « less
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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
NSF Arctic Data Center
Date Published:
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
peatlands organic soil soil horizon alaska carbon fire histosols
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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